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The Price of Larceny

I was watching a little bit of that very good 2017 documentary, Burn Motherfucker Burn!, again last night. It’s about the Los Angeles Riots of 1965 and 1992. Having lived through both of them, which I have written about my experiences with them and in them in previous writings, I find the historical depiction of what lead up to them, the documentation within the middle of them, and the presentation of the aftermath very interesting in this doc.
 
When I popped it on last night, it was right at the point when Perry Farrell, of Jane’s Addiction fame, was discussing how he had just bought a house, but he had no furniture. But, after the riots, his house was fully furnished. He seemed very proud of the fact that he had stolen all of his furniture.  Just as when I first saw that doc, and during subsequent viewings, I could not help but think, how messed up is that to be proud and boast of stealing from someone else. This, when he was already notable and well-paid enough to be able to buy a house. Something most people, here in Los Angeles, can’t do. I mean, what is the karma associated with that furniture? Even more importantly, whose life did he hurt by stealing that furniture?
 
The doc then goes into an elderly lady crying to a police officer as they are massively looting her local grocery store. She is exclaiming that she has no food, where will she get it? Very sad.
 
Then you see this Korean owned liquor store being totally looted. The owner is standing in there asking that the people don’t break anything as they steal her blind. One young kid walks up to her, “Are all the chips gone?” I mean, come on! Does no one have a conscience?
 
Ask yourself, what have you taken, what have you stolen from someone else that was not willingly given to you? While you were taking it, did you care or even think about what would be the implication to the life of the individual you were taking it from? What happened to you or your life because of that larceny?
 
Has anything ever been stolen from you? How did that make you feel? What did that thievery do to the further evolution of your life? What happened to the person who robbed you? Anything?
 
No one wants to have their anything stolen from them. Do you? But, it seems everyone wants everything for free. But, nothing is free. There is always a cost associated with anything that is taken or even paid for from someone else. In one case, the honorable one, an agreed upon transaction takes place. In the other, all that occurs is loss and pain and life damage.
 
This stuff goes on all the time. Not just during riots. I mean, look at what has been taking place, particularly in places Like San Francisco and Los Angeles, with the ever-expanding homeless crisis. There is so much blatant shoplifting going on, with no meaningful prosecution, that many retail establishments have been forced to closed. Add to this all the large-scale smash and grab robberies that are now taking place, and society is at a turning-point.
 
As those of you who read this blog know, I speak about human interaction all that time. Because that’s all we really have; right? But, look around you, how bad have things gotten? There are wars destroying the lives of so many people right now. They are being broadcast right in our faces, showing us the pain and the devastation. There are protests for or against those war, leading to further conflict, and, at least in one case, the death of a person here in the Los Angeles area about a month ago.
 
People make a choice to take. They want to take what is not theirs. Whether that is an object, a person, or a country, what’s the difference? Nothing. They are taking something they are not and were not given. Thus, equaling all this life pain.
 
So truly, what have you stolen? What did you take that was not yours to take? What did it mean to the person you stole it from? What did it mean to you then? What does it mean to you now? And, more importantly, do you even chart the reactions to your action and what those actions do to someone else? Or, do all you do is think about yourself, like Perry Farrell or that little boy who wanted some free potato chips in that documentary?
 
If you steal, you make everyone’s everything that much worse, no matter what your motivation or your justification. If you have stolen pay that person back. You owe them.