Monday, February 14, 2011


Watch this video all the way to the end, after the credits.

I guess that I don't understand why what seems to be a fairly normal person would commit armed robbery, regardless of the circumstances, short of survival. If he's worried about his kids there are plenty of ways to make sure they're fed and sheltered that don't involve robbery. Something else is driving this desperation.

I haven't had much work for going on three years now. A little dribbles in from time to time and for that I'm grateful. Thankfully my wife has a really good job. Her salary doesn't cover everything but it gets close enough that we can work our way around it.

Maybe it's because I grew up in the construction business, an industry that isn't exactly known for job security. We always knew that there would be good times and lean times and we adjusted accordingly. Consequently, I suppose, I've never been overly worried about money. It seems like if you have a little faith things generally work out.

Now this doesn't mean that we don't have to make hard choices and that the wolf isn't at the door on a fairly regular basis. Hell, I think he's pitched a tent. But I just don't worry about it. And, I've learned to be creative regarding jobs. A bunch of part time jobs can more than equal a good full time job. The trick is doing a real good analysis of whether the work actually will make you some money. It's all too easy to take something because you're desperate only to find out you lose money every hour you work. Being erratically employed and doing it profitably requires a bit of business sense. And a good deal of entrepreneurial attitude. And faith.

Maybe it's a lack of all those things that drives what seems to be a normal guy to armed robbery. Maybe it's always, ever since he got out of school, having been an employee and never learning to truly support himself. Maybe it's having no real skill besides creating spreadsheets or moving paperwork. Without a trade, and the ability to turn raw materials into a useful and salable product it's really hard to make a buck in the erratic job world.

And lastly, maybe it's a lack of faith, or a faith in the wrong thing. If a person buys into the promise, hell, the religion of American corporate capitalism and job security, and believes it with all his heart, he's going to be sorely disappointed. We're in a new world now, a world where true capitalism requires real skills to earn a living. Well, maybe we're not quite there but that's where we're going. The service based economy is breathing its last.

And, if a person has put his faith in this dying system then his faith will die with it. If your god is materialism it will fail you.

But if your God is the God of Abraham, the one true God that transcends the material world He created, you end up with a different view of any given point in time. Life is about more than money and comfort, even more than a full belly. While all those things are good they're not essential. The things that really count are faith and family, and if you can hold on to those you can hold on to everything.

If I lose everything I own yet manage to retain my faith and my family it'll be alright. Life will suck but we'll get through. But if I resort to crime to prop up my false understanding of life, that my happiness and worth are judged according to the stuff I have then I'll just spiral down into destruction. Good can never come from evil and theft is evil, especially at the point of a gun.

In the end, no matter how polite the guy in that video was as he held a gun on the clerk behind the counter, in that simple action of pointing that weapon the robber forfeited his right to life. And what good would he be to his kids bleeding out on the floor?

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