Lessons From A Former Thief

How many times have you ever stolen something in your life? When you did it the first time, did you get caught? Did someone else know about it, and did you feel guilty afterwards? Or completely indifferent? Stealing is a very bad deed to perform, no matter how big or small the item you stole was. 

In the eyes of any religion, stealing is a sin and the thief should be punished severely. In the eyes of law, stealing is a crime and thieves aren’t welcomed. It doesn’t matter what faith you hold, where you’re from, and who raised you, stealing is recognized to be bad and shunned worldwide. 

Sometimes, it takes someone to correct another properly if caught stealing. Whether it is scolding and grounding from your parents, or worse, going to jail. Thankfully for me, it was my parents who stopped me the first and last time I ever stole a single thing in my life. I am and will be forever grateful towards the both of you. Time to go down memory lane once again! 

I was 7 years old when this happened. My siblings and I were going to a store for grocery shopping, and to also sit down and eat. When we entered the car and started moving, I noticed a $5 bill under the driver’s seat right in front of me that no one else remarked. It was like it was just me and that $5 bill in the world. I was staring at it, and it was eyeing me too. It was screaming at me loudly, “Steal me, I know you want to. Imagine all the wonderful things you could buy with me. Take me, before someone else does!”, and so, I stole the money. 

I scooped it up quick like the flash, and slyly stuffed it into my pocket before anyone noticed. That was the beginnings of a skilled thief, thank God I didn’t continue down that road. Moving on, we are at the store’s restaurant section sitting down ordering some food. 

I introduced my stolen $5 bill to all my sisters proudly. I lied that my father gave it to me, and they believed it. They all exclaimed playfully, “Ooh, DiDi’s getting rich, maybe she should pay for our meals!” My face turned pale and I shook my head no with wide eyes frantically like a madman. They all laughed and began eating when their food arrived. I didn’t want to part with my newfound wealth, it was all mine and only mine! 

Steal me

Fast forward, we are back at home and my father was in the living room. I decided to flaunt my money with my father as well, how stupid I was! I showed it to him ecstatically and wanted him to praise me as well. He eyed me and eyed the $5 bill I was holding. He asked me “Where did you get that from?” This time, I told a different tale to my father. I told him that it was the change of a chicken biscuit that I bought with my lunch money at school, but I forgot the fact that this man is my fathe and my cunningness was inherited from him. 

He didn’t believe it and asked me again, whereas I lied again. He gave me the infamous cat eye that runs in our family, but is only perfected by my dear mother. He sat me down and took the money from my hand. This time he demanded, not asked, where I got this money from. My 7 year old heart was getting very scared, and she didn’t like seeing her father so stern. So, she told the entire and whole truth to him with her heart beating crazy going, “Boom, Boom, Boom.” 

My face felt tight, and my throat was parched. I couldn’t speak and couldn’t look down either from his angry eyes. He got up, and beckoned me to follow him. We arrived at the doorway of my sister’s room that was opened. He looked at me and said “Tell her the truth and apologize.” I didn’t want to, I kept on pleading and begging him to not put me through this. 

Tears started to swell up from my eyes, but his resolve was absolute. I was afraid of getting scolded and possibly spanked, and ashamed of what I did. I didn’t dare look at my sister’s eyes when I was telling her the little lie I made just that morning. It was at that exact moment that I found out stealing is bad, and that I should never ever do it again. 

My sister was confused, and didn’t understand a word I said since I could barely pronounce my words right, due to my stammering. Quite ironic for someone who has a big mouth! My father explained the situation to her, and then she understood. She told me to look at her, and I did with great difficulty. She told me not to do it again and that if I learned a lesson. I nodded my head yes. 

My father yelled “It’s yes (her name)!” I repeated after him, but much more meekly. He told me to say it again louder so everyone can hear, I obeyed him. He sent me to my room to contemplate what I’ve done, and said that he’s going to tell mother. That was worse than him telling my sister, my sister is a very calm person and it’s hard to anger her. If she’s mad, then she’s passive aggressive and avoids talking to you until she’s regained her spirits. 

My mother on the other hand, when she’s mad all hell breaks loose! She’ll say it like it is and make it very well known when she’s upset, and oh her cat eyes can rip right through your soul… If looks could kill, I think I would’ve died more than a billion times by now, God forbid! 

Evening comes, and I come out of my room to go watch videos on YouTube in the living room. My father sees me but doesn’t say anything, he continues reading his newspaper and drinking his cup of coffee. I’m enjoying myself greatly, all the way until my mother comes back from her outing. My father looks at me as if to say “I’m gonna tell her.” 

I tried to avoid his looks and act as normal as possible around my mother. He lets her go get dressed into her night clothes and refresh herself first before he spills the beans. I knew what storm was about to come, I was embracing myself for the strong waves that were about to hit me in a couple of minutes, while watching my videos innocently. My mother comes back into the living room and my father tells her that he and I have something important to tell her. She looks confused just like my sister was earlier that day. He looks at me and continues anyway, explaining the shameful act I committed. 

With each word he uttered, and the more my mother understood the situation, I became even more scared. I even stopped watching my videos just to look at them and hear the conversation. She looks at me angrily, and boy was I scared! I think I almost pissed myself. 

She yelled at me multiple things, one of them being, “My child is NOT a thief! I did not give birth to you, raise you, and use my hard earned money to give you a good education just so you can end up a delinquent!” Some might think her words were misplaced and dramatic, but I believe she had every right to be angry at me like that. Imagine working day and night to bring food onto the table. Therefore, your children can have a good education, just to have them go on a wrong path for what reason exactly? They grew up in a good and loving home, always had food and clothing. What possibly could be the factors that would cause them to commit such an atrocity? 

I’m pretty sure those were the thoughts that were running wildly in her mind and heart, so I understand her reaction now. I probably thought she was being dramatic and mean back then, but I can see that I was wrong. Thanks to both her and my father, I never stole again. 

Back to the past, she banned me from using any electronics, took away my piggy bank, and made sure all I did for awhile was just study. So, she basically grounded me. I was devastated when she took away all of my savings, I was saving my money for more than 3 months and garnered at least $25!

I felt like all my hard earned money from doing chores and the little money I was gifted with from time to time all went to waste. Though, to be honest with you, I don’t think it’s a good tactic for parents to give their kids money just so they could get their chores done. They should get it done either way. I believe that type of mentality will shape the child into only working or doing something because of money, not because he/she is happy to do it. I have a little bit of that mentality unfortunately, it’s one of the many things that I want and need to change about myself. 

She made me go to bed one hour earlier than usual that night. I felt a bit hungry, but I didn’t dare say a word. It was quite hard for me to fall asleep, but I eventually did, while crying though. The next day, she wouldn’t even look at me. I was extremely sad. My father talked to me and said to not ever do that again. I promised I wouldn’t and he finally smiled, which seemed like forever. I’m sure he felt proud of himself for preventing a horrible trait taking form in his daughter, I would be too if I were in his shoes. 

My mother didn’t bat a single eye in my direction until the next morning before she dropped me off to school, she and I had a long and heartfelt talk. We reached an agreement and hugged, and everything ended well sooner than I hoped. I was happy that I was getting along with both of my parents again. I was still grounded but happy, nonetheless. I knew what I did was wrong, and learned from my error. I don’t regret anything that happened because otherwise, I never would’ve learned such a valuable lesson. 

Kids and teens, you may be angry at your parents for multiple reasons, but just know that they have your best interests at heart. Try talking it out with them, communication is the key to every relationship you may ever have. Don’t hesitate and express yourself! 

Parents, you know when to scold and punish your children. However, teach them that communication is important by discussing with them about things you feel are important during a particular stage of their life. Especially when you both have disagreements, know when to squash it out by an old fashioned hug. Hug them hard even if they don’t appreciate it then, they will later. 

Finally, thank you mama and daddy. If it weren’t for you two when I made that mistake, I would’ve repeated the same thing over again. Thank you for correcting me when I need it, and guiding me all the time. God bless you both!

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