That’s a strange statement for me to make. Mostly because I think I’m a fairly decent person and I’ve been raised to believe that a “thief” is a horrible human. Me? I’m a good human. I take care of my people and animals. I pay my bills. I chat with my neighbors. I help strangers. I give to charity. I believe in equality and that everyone should have a good shot at happiness. EVERYONE. But…
noun, plural thieves.
a person who steals, especially secretly or without open force; one guilty of theft or larceny.
I am a thief. True story. I steal stuff. I take things that aren’t mine. Sometimes I think I can justify my thievery. Sometimes I take things just because I can. Sometimes I do it to see if I can get away with it. But no matter how you look at it, I’m still a thief.
You can say things like “everyone re-appropriates pens and sticky notes from work”. Maybe. But I still didn’t buy them. And I can’t remember the last time I bought envelopes because I always mail my stuff from work. (Though I do pay my own postage.) And I print things on their paper while using their printers all the time. You do that too? Thief.
I don’t always tell people when they undercharge me for things. Or when they completely forget to charge me for something. Sometimes I’ll leave an extra tip if I’m at a restaurant but in the whole scheme of things, I’m stealing. You too? Thief.
I don’t “work” 100% of the time I’m actually at work. I chat. I email. I surf the interwebs. I write blogs. Yes…I get my work done and sometimes I have to come in on the weekends or work from home to make up for my non-workage. But I still don’t work work all day while I sit at my desk. You too? Thief.
I share music and copy movies. I take pennies but never leave one – even when I have them. I have shot glasses from several different restaurants in my cupboard. I sometimes don’t give proper credit for the pictures on my blog that I’ve found on the internet.
There’s more, don’t worry. Worse things in fact. But I’m not ready to publicly admit them and continue the list right now. Except…
The biggest theft?!? The mongo doozy humdinger of them all?
I steal other peoples’ happiness.
Yup. I take their joy. I snatch up moments one by one and make them mine. I insert myself into others’ lives and instead of making or finding my own happiness, I suck up theirs like a damn sponge. I’m a happiness parasite. Sometimes, they don’t even notice. Sometimes, they don’t even care. Sometimes, they’re willing accomplices.
Regardless, it’s not my happiness to take. It’s not my joy to feel. And I have no right to leach it away from them. They’ve built and/or found their own happiness. I have no right to steal it.
Unfortunately, finding and creating my own happiness isn’t something I’m very good at. I didn’t know this until I realized that I was in fact a thief. I’ve been doing it for so long – living off others, making excuses, waiting, watching, wanting, taking…you get the idea. It’s turned into a subconscious thing. Half the time I don’t even realize what I’m doing. But now I do. Now I see that I need to discover my OWN happiness and frankly I’m dumb-founded. I don’t know how to do it. Seriously. How do you make “happy” out of nothing?
Step 1: “Hi. I’m Nan. And I’m a thief.”
Step 2: ?