Thursday, February 01, 2007

"Everyone is Doing It"

It was lying in little packets strewn across the road. The truck had taken the corner too sharply and shifted its load. And the driver stood forlornly looking at the pile of packets in the road.

But not for long. I was on top of the bridge looking down on the scene. And from my vantage could see people converging on the scene. Not to help the driver – but to help themselves! Like ants they scurried off the pavement into the road, before running away haphazardly through the traffic clutching white packets of sugar. One man climbed out of his car and grabbed at the packets, then climbed back into the car and drove off. Another piled his partner’s arms high with packets before they scurried off. And the hapless driver tried in vain to prevent his stock from disappearing. Within minutes the road was empty of sugar packets.

And I wondered at how ‘normal’ everyday people could turn into avaricious looters. How was it possible for people to hurry over to claim something that never was theirs to take. These were not tattood gangsters; neither were they involved in an elaborate criminal plot. They were random shoppers/business people/house wives/taxi drivers. The same people who deplore the crime in our country; people who call for the police to do something about the criminals; people who long for a crime-free society. And they thought nothing of stealing the property of another. A crowd of thieves.

Probably this is the key: “Everyone is doing it”. When everyone does it then it feels better. It is this that allows space for mob justice in township streets. It is this that allows company directors to award themselves obscene financial benefits at company expense. It is this that allows people like me – and you – to pick up a few bags of sugar in the road. And it is this that creates the criminal culture in our society.

Our culture changes when I refuse to enrich myself at the expense of another person….in fact our culture changes only when I learn to live with what I have without lusting for the possessions of another.

Now will someone please pass the sugar……


digitaldion said...

The evils of sugar!

That's why I haven't touched the stuff in years... I've seen what it can do to people (especially little people!) ;-)

digitaldion said...

O yeah, and Peetie... Your link to my page is wrong... Peter Greyling gave me a call to say that he had tried it, so I tried it, and guess what... It's wrong!

It should be:

Wessel Bentley said...

Gives new meaning to "sugar-rush"