poetry. thoughts and more than make-believe.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Keep your hands to yourself



This week I've been thinking about stealing quite a bit.
Sadly, in this small town I live we have been inundated with public theft of
rather large quanities of money.  I am sure this happens daily
across the globe, but still it is disturbing.

In the past year -- year and half maybe, there was a pee-wee football coach who took $20,000 plus dollars, a volunteer from the schools who also took about the same amount, and recently this week two people from a business who about $500,000 -- but the topper of it all was a volunteer from our Farmers Market who pocketed a mere $3400. 

My first thought in each of these cases was "I don't get it" and finding myself in a place of judgement.  People have been talking.  It's been in the paper and online.  And for all of my "I don't watch the news," I keep informed via voice and reading.  So, it's easy to sit in that place of judgement with folks continuing the ugly stories and ego.

So--I thought how should I look at this from a yogic stand point?  And if this is such this high and mighty Christian town, what would baby jesus do? 

Of course baby jesus forgives.
And yoga offers in the yama's : Asteya.
Non-stealing.
Seems pretty simple.  I won't steal thousands of dollars. I won't even steal ONE dollar. I won't get in trouble. But where does stealing originate in the mind?  In the body?

Desire. Wants. Material. Ego.
It's all there to make it 'ok.'  And if it's not or you want to keep up or fit in so much -- you make it 'ok' to take.  To steal.

This has made me think about my own history of stealing.  When I was 4 years old I took a stuffed animal from my Aunts house because I wanted it so bad. I don't recall what kind of animal it was, though I am wondering if this is when I decided stuffed animals weren't my first love. Anyhow-- I remember tucking it inside my coat, under my arm as we left her house. No one knew until my mom noticed it at home and immediately took me back to my Aunts insisting I tell her what I did and 'No you aren't allowed to keep it,' are words burned in my memory when my dear Aunt offered for me to take it back home.

I recall in kindergarten looking at anothers test.  Cheating is stealing.

In 2nd grade I was the look out for friends who took stickers from the teachers desk.

And then I knew I had to listen to that voice inside--the one who knew better and knew that voice was a higher power.  Plus I knew my family would humiliated and disappointed if I did the wrong thing.  And so stealing in the physical sense has vanished.

But what about stealing in other ways?  Like showing up on time, leaving on time...if you don't follow time, you are stealing others time.  And then there's wasting food.  Stealing others chance to eat. Hoarding, clutter...stealing your own freedom and others. 

So as I sit and and consider stealing, it is not nearly as simple as judging someone else's theft.  Is taking thousands of dollars wrong?  Of course -- but it isn't my worry today.  I will continue to look at what stealing is though-- the subtle aspects.  Remembering what desire can do when unchecked -- and being happy in daily life.

Om.

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