Stealing is No Good…

Words that sound alike but do not look alike are called homophones, and include steel and steal.

When someone thinks of steel, the typical thought is of a very strong metal of a grayish or bluish color, used for industrial purposes such as building construction. Steel takes a great deal of energy to produce and use.

People often use “steel” for the idea of getting ready to do something, “steeling up” for a job, for instance.

The word STEAL however can be discussed in different ways. Some people try to put a positive spin on the word by using a commercial phrase, “Steal of a deal.” This means that a potential purchase seems like a good value, being of good quality but at a relatively low price diverging from what the item typically might sell for. A car that is half its usual price might be a steal of a deal if in good shape; a piece of crystal might be a steal of a deal if it is reduced in price and is not broken, chipped, or otherwise damaged.

You can, in a sense, “steal time” and “steal away”, as in making time for yourself apart from those around whom you daily work, or taking a vacation far away from anything familiar, finding a peaceful beach or garden in a secluded place away from the hectic, noisy pace of the office.

Normally the word “steal” is taken in a more serious manner. When people steal something, they take something that is not theirs. The word can go under other names such as theft, robbery, and even murder.

That’s right, to steal is to take something that does not belong to you, plain and simple.

The item on the store shelf does not belong to you until you pay for it. Then you may take it home. The item in another person’s house does not belong to you, but to the owner of that home

But what about when a life is stolen? Lives are taken every day, and that is called murder when one person kills another. That is STEALNG A LIFE. The murderer has taken something that does not belong to them. In the process they may have taken other things from the victim, such as money, jewelry, a car, a spouse, but in the end when they have taken that life they still have committed the crime of murder.

In Chicago lives are stolen just about every day. Those who steal lives have many issues plaguing them. They may have been injured by the person they kill, or as happened today in a building in the Loop they may have been demoted by a boss. The man today who shot the other man was angry, in danger of losing a job, and not reasoning properly to consider other ways of handling his situation. Now according to police this man is dead and the CEO is gravely wounded.

Other people are hurt when something or a life is stolen. When an inanimate thing is stolen (money, car, jewels, papers, books, clothes), the business is hurt by the loss of merchandise and the invasion of the security of store personnel and the comfort of customers. The items cannot speak and tell someone where they are.

But the dead cannot speak either. When a life is taken, only those left behind can speak for the deceased. The family of the murdered will speak but with sadness and grief; they will talk about the dead. The employees of a boss or co -worker who is killed will speak of the dead in many ways, but hopefully those ways will be kind… but the dead cannot speak. They leave behind those inanimate things that perhaps their killer was after, but what good are those things if they cannot be enjoyed?

What will the things benefit the killer when they are in prison and cannot have but few possessions unto themselves? What will the things belonging to others benefit the assailant when all they are allowed is a prison uniform, when what they eat from and drink from and wear is not even theirs? What they stole will not be theirs; those things belong to someone else.

What good is stealing, then?

No good at all.

Divi Logan, Chicago, 2014.