When I was seven I was caught shoplifting
I had been enjoying some unsupervised free-time in the toy department when I decided that I’d help myself to some Star Wars figurines.
This wasn’t the first time I had stolen something.
There wasn’t a high degree of difficulty involved because someone else had already opened the packaging. I simply waited until I was alone in the aisle and then placed three of the toys in pocket of my windbreaker. I walked out the door, got in the car, and headed home to enjoy the results of my inter-galactic crime spree.
I enjoyed them for about 2 hours.
When my mother found me playing with the toys, she asked me where I had gotten them. I knew that I needed to say that I had taken them from the store, but I didn’t tell her that.
I told her that “I found them”.
She didn’t believe me.
I was taken to see my father.
I told him that they were “given to me” by a stranger.
He didn’t believe me.
I was taken to see the retail manager.
I told him that I had stolen them.
He believed me.
If you know me well you’ve heard this story and how it turned me from a life of theft, but I want to point out that it took a significant amount of work by many people to turn the tide of rebelliousness and burglary in my life.
I had a proclivity for theft and no desire to turn from it.