Robin Hood Was A Thief

I used to steal.

Years ago, when I worked for a clothing store, one of my coworkers convinced me that stealing from the company was my right. Here’s how he justified the act:

“You see, Shah. What we do is not stealing because, first, this company marks up the resale values of all the clothing by 100% and makes a lot of money. So, stealing a few items here and there will not hurt them at all. Second, these people expect us to steal because they only pay us minimum wage. “

Does the above logic justify stealing?

It sure satisfied me. I became an expert in ripping off the store. I went to work wearing my old clothes, chose whatever I wanted off the rack, and in opportune time walked into the dressing room, and changed to my new outfit. At the end of my shift, I walked out of the store wearing brand new shirts, pants and coats without having to spend a penny.

I was convinced I was entitled to the merchandise. It was my right to have the new clothing, however, at the same time, I had no obligation to the company that had employed me.

I felt like Robin Hood, stealing from the rich to give to the poor – ME.

In those days, the majority of my coworkers did not share my entitlement attitude. But, these days things are quite different.

Today, the Josephson Institute of Ethics released the findings of the first-ever large-scale study of the relationship between high school attitudes and behavior, and later adult conduct.

“The report showed that during 2008, 64% cheated on an exam, 42% lied to save money, and 30% stole something from a store. This new study reveals a close connection between youthful attitudes and behavior and continuing patterns of dishonesty as young people enter the adult world. The survey found that current age and attitudes about the need to cheat and actual high school cheating are significant predictors of lying and cheating across a wide range of adult situations.”

Why the change?

First, let me tell you what changed me and then offer you my opinion for the above question.
As soon as I became a follower of Christ, an inner-voice convicted me of my flawed logic. Nobody lectured me on it. I didn’t hear a “fire and brimstone” message on what happens to thieves. I simply knew I was guilty of stealing. So, I quit. I stopped cheating, lying and stealing to bring honor to my Lord.

What does my conversion have to do with 30% of high school students stealing from stores? If you look at the Ten Commandments, much of it has to do with the wellbeing of the community. I believe the farther our nation gets from God, the more entitlement-minded we become. The more one feels he deserves to have something he hasn’t earned, the more cheating, lying and stealing will take place – acts that eventually will pull communities apart from one another.

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6 thoughts on “Robin Hood Was A Thief

  1. Thanks Shannon, I believe transparency is a key to any successful relationship. What we need more of are people who we can be transparent with, and then accept us for who we are.
    Again, Thanks for reading my blog and leaving your comment.

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  2. I haven't read this in so long. I was actually think of this very subject recently and was listening to a song that goes with this post and your more recent one. The quote says, “We laugh at honor and are shocked when
    We find knives in our backs” (Thrice-Abolition of Man). The premise of the song is that we subject ourselves to that that dishonors yet we want honor? Wait a second, an oxymoron, you think? the more that I interact with people even within the christian community I am sad to say…even with me at times that I dishonor in my actions, in my words, and yet I demand honor somehow. Someone asked me one time…why can't you budge on the rules they are simply guidelines. My response, “It's all about character.” Character can only be determined through actions which is why I feel that people who say..you are not what you do fall short of expressing the essence of someone. While i don't agree that one lie makes someone a liar necessarily a lifestyle of dishonesty does make someone a liar. All this to say…I totally see what you are saying. Whether people would like to admit it in the United States or not…we live in a semi shamed based environment. We are being watched our character is being judged and we do lose face based on what we choose to do. Americans simply honor the wrong things sometimes.

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