I’ve often told my daughters writers are thieves, filching stories that are not theirs and writing tales in ways that may or may not be to their participants’ liking. No secret here, but writers are not known as the most morally exemplary of human lives.
But thievery has many facets.
A thief or thieves stole my daughter’s snow tires from our barn, stacked against the back wall beneath a ladder. The hide-and-seek playing kids noticed the tires’ absence. We’ve endured numerous break-ins at our former house, and so the emotional blow is lesser now, but nonetheless, did the thief know these tires were a gift to my 18-year-old? That I had bought them after considerable deliberation, after forking over a chunk of a month’s income, that I had desired to give this inexperienced driver every advantage possible on Vermont’s snowy roads? That I knew she had to go to school and work, and yet I wanted her, always, to return safely home?
I’m quite sure (or maybe this is now wishful territory) that if the thief knew my long-limbed and beloved daughter, that theft would not have happened.
Here’s why I hate Facebook – here’s why I hate everything contributing to our society’s tendency to pretend it’s all good: while we often act as though we’re images we can manipulate with filters and photoshopping, our actions affect other people, even if we willfully chose not to see that result.
Here’s hoping as a writer I respect the whole dynamic range of stories – good, bad, and in-between. Here’s hoping my own soul isn’t irreparably stained. And here’s hoping those tires make their way to some other young person’s car this winter and roll that driver safely home.
To steal from a brother or sister is evil. To not steal from the institutions that are the pillars of the Pig Empire is equally immoral.
Abbie Hoffman, Steal This Book