My Opinion: Grief, Theft and Deceit

What am I thinking this morning, and do you really care? A mishmash of negativity is going through my mind due to several unsettling events. Maybe you can relate to one, some or all. Or none. I usually try to write for the reader, but today, I think I’m just selfishly writing for me. It happens sometimes. I just need to vent. Hopefully, for your sake, not often!

GRIEF

Anyone who’s lost to the Grim Reaper knows how dark a time that loss brings. I’ve experienced both the death of my parents and my sister (who was only 20 years old), and let’s not forget the loss of pets. Any way you look at it, it’s painful.

Just this week, my neighbor suffered such a loss. He owns 25-plus acres, including the farm field behind our house. His home backs mature forest and faces the farm field. His wife loves to garden, but the deer considered it a buffet. So Rich put up an eight-foot-high fence around the home, about an acre. That didn’t stop a mountain lion from climbing the fence and taking down Rich’s little dog. When a wild animal gets inside a fence, he can easily corner his prey. It was only about 7 p.m. and hardly dark, so he must have been hungry.

It’s hard to know what to say to someone who feels the stab of such a tragedy. I’ve had to put down several dear pets. I was an emotional wreck every time. But losing a dog to Mother Nature is different scenario.

My consolation to Rich and Nancy included a statement about how wild animals—even domestic ones—behave with innocence. They have no conscience. Unlike humans.

My sister’s life was taken by a human. It’s just wrong. However, taking a life in self-defense is actually saving a life and involves engaging a God-given instinct to protect ourselves and others. But taking a life for other reasons indicates someone is out of control and poses a danger to the rest of us. Sadly, lacking self-control seems to be an integral part of today’s culture. I’m not sure if we can teach our children self-control, but we certainly can educate them to the consequences of not having it. Sometimes, the consequences just show up as a natural sequence of events.  

On poor advice from so-called “friends,” my sister lied in an attempt to make her boyfriend jealous. Messing with someone’s emotions is dangerous business. We never quite know what will happen. Human emotions are quite unpredictable. Regardless, jealousy may be a reason for killing but it’s certainly no justification. My sister didn’t have a chance to rectify her mistake. Her consequence was death itself. The man who killed her had to face the consequences of his actions. That’s sad all the way around. Mom and I focused on the grieving and healing process and not on the crime. That was our self-control at work. Hard work it was. Mom said that the word “forgiveness” would help us heal. I still feel the loss and sadness, but not the anger and pain.

As much as I would like to have had the opportunity to reciprocate—revengefully take that man’s life—I knew I mustn’t and wouldn’t. I was only 14 and yet understood that what he did was horribly wrong. Want we want to do and what we actually do should be two entirely different things. That’s when the heart and the head must work together to employ that self-control thing. Evil thoughts should not lead to evil actions. So often, that’s not the case.

THEFT

I know I’m switching channels, but that’s the way my mind is streaming today. I wish it wasn’t, but it is what it is.

I’ve been hearing advertisements for how a person can cut their credit card debt in half. “We know what your credit card companies don’t want you to know. We can cut your debt or eliminate it.” I’m sure these companies can negotiate a settlement of less than the amount owed. We all suffer for that thievery.

I believe these companies who wheel and deal a reduction in credit card debt should be arrested for grand larceny. The amount written off a card-holder’s debt is actually stealing. These debtors are getting a whole bunch of free stuff at the expense of the rest of us who don’t buy what we can’t afford. These negotiators are accomplices in allowing consumers to steal goods. We all end up paying more, directly or indirectly. The debtor walks away with a big-screen TV that he hasn’t paid for. That’s certainly not facing consequences and is another example of NO self-control. It’s nurturing theft and smothering conscience. That’s also something to grieve over.

Don’t get me started on negotiating tax bills. Taking what deductions are legally yours is not stealing. But negotiating tax debt drops the burden more heavily on those of us who pay our taxes—in full. Once again, I would LOVE to refuse to pay taxes, especially for things in which I don’t believe. But we put aside enough money over the year to ensure we can pay what the government says we owe. Of course, I still believe that taxes are merely someone taking—without my permission—what I have earned. That sounds like theft to me. Ah, semantics.

DECEIT

The contractor says he’ll provide an itemized proposal for dropping a well. He says he’ll have it to us on Tuesday. Tuesday comes and goes. No phone call, no email, no text message. That’s deceitful. In our very first meeting, we stressed the value of communication. He agreed wholeheartedly. We were ready to write a check. How much effort does it take for someone to pick up the phone and call or text? He was sick, he said. No one could call to explain?

It happens all too frequently. Once again, no commitment to conscience. No consideration for others. How do businesses like that make money? And how long do they stay in business? Guess they’re not hungry enough. It’s today’s American way.

Some call it lack of a work ethic. I call it deceit. With all today’s communication devices—text, email, calendars, alarms—and all these on our phones!—I call it deceit. And boy, is it annoying. So we call another well-driller. He doesn’t return our call for a week. That’s another red flag.

I guess I see things rather negatively today. My saving grace is knowing that tomorrow will bring a different set of challenges. Let’s hope some will be rejuvenating, pleasurable and rewarding. I’ve decided to search for a ray of light in every day no matter how dark things appear. Hope you do the same.

Be safe, stay informed, and thanks for reading!

Views and opinions expressed by authors and contributors do not necessarily represent the views of American Freedom Journal. Contributors are not paid.

© 2020 Dee Armstrong All Rights Reserved

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