What is stealing? I define stealing as taking something that does not belong to you as your own. (Webster pretty much agrees). For the most part we can agree on what stealing is but do we act like we believe the definition is right and true? Do we not take pens from the office to keep our home supply in stock (don’t act like it’s just me)? “Everyone does it” may be a clichéd response but an even more clichéd response to that response is, “if everyone jumps off a bridge, would you do it too?” (or something like that). I get it. Office supplies are generally cheap so it is unlikely that someone would get called out for taking a pen or two now and then. Regardless of the justification for it (“they’re cheap, no one will mind”/ “I’m entitled to this much”) it is still stealing.
Ok, let us get all metaphysical with this and say you can steal someone’s joy. Some may argue, “thou shall not steal” (Exodus 20:15) only applies to material things but as that is not specified in the commandment, I see more than what is on the surface. Just as in my post about killing, I mentioned how one can kill another’s spirit or emotions. I believe stealing those things is possible as well. I may be getting ahead of myself but I venture to theorize that the difference between metaphysical killing and stealing is permanence and impermanence respectively. For example, if I kill someone’s joy, it is gone forever. The joy that pertained to a certain event, object or idea is gone permanently. If I steal someone’s joy however, there is the implication that it can be salvaged or recovered and returned or restored.
Whether you agree with all my theoretical mumbo jumbo, the fact is that stealing has implications for both the thief and victim that are more than just physical.
I have a really hyperbolic, dramatic example for ya but I will make it another post so to be continued…