It has come to my attention that, as a result of the Grease Pencils post, my trustworthiness in the vicinity of other people’s oars and unlocked doors has come into question. Tongue-in-cheek, but still!
This has to do with how I acquired said grease pencils. At the time, during the original supplies search, I had been successful only in finding a box of 1000 for sale on the Internet. What is the ethical solution for this? Probably to have tried harder, in locating a smaller number. Now they are at Staples, but I believe that we tried that, at that time, with no success. My solution, shady action at the health food store, and reimbursing the store by not correcting register errors in their favor, was still not fair. (I had asked to buy some grease pencils, but was told that they didn’t know how to do that, so, no.) Just because I needed those pencils, it doesn’t mean that the store should part with them, even though we know for sure that this happens accidentally all the time (and another employee suggested this solution).
Over the course of time I’ve had more than one assistant who accidentally left my home with everything from good mechanical pencils to Salvation Army style forks and spoons, using them during lunch breaks and forgetting that they were not their own, as they packed up their stuff. The fascinating part was that in each case, those individuals truly did not understand why this mattered to me, after we figured out what had happened. Because it was clearly important to me, efforts were made to sort it out, and all was resolved well. But I could see clearly that for them it was a reach, to understand my perspective.
And yet, I lifted grease pencils! Feeling pressed by need, and rationalizing in assorted directions, from secret payment, to the known poor treatment of staff by the large-chain health food store (nope, not really related). So are anybody’s oars safe, if I’m in the vicinity, if any of these rationalizations are acceptable?
This has nothing to do with boats, except for the oars, and that my desire for a workable navigation system is what prompted this action. This all took place quite some time ago – how would it be now, older and perhaps a little wiser, minus the modern Internet making finding things so easy?
All I can say in my defense is that this action bothers me too, and has been the source of much soul-searching. Maybe that’s why I wrote up the original post in that way, bringing the subject to light. After all, one could have just said something about that these special grease pencils (plastic, and impervious to water) used to be hard to find, but now here they are on the Internet. Instead, the mention is there, and is the very part of the post that has received notice, prompting gentle encouragement from the universe that I might like to get my act together. Thank you universe, and thank you friends!
Jeffrey Michals-Brown said:
If I were a confessor (I’m not), I would at this point wonder whether there might not be more weighty but obscure sins more deserving of your contemplation. (I find no lack of these in my own life.)
Ah, but it’s getting the smaller ones sorted out, that makes it possible to deal with the big ones!
I think there is a universal account balance ledger thingy. And you’re going to have to lift a few more pens in order to straighten this out. Love to you, Kate
Thank you Kate – that’s a sweet thought!