A lot of not-so-cool things can happen to us in our lives day to day, and many are easy to avoid, if we employ caution.
Don’t run with scissors. Look both ways before crossing the street. Avoid the big tree during a lightning storm.
These are the kinds of age-old lessons we learned as youngsters, which we teach to our children, and generally refer to as “common sense.”
Recently, I have heard a lot of discussion around another example of such sensibility: locking your car doors.
In Batavia over the past week, residents have been shocked and alarmed as neighbors on the west side of town fell victim to a rash of car burglaries, and several complete thefts of vehicles.
And as quickly as those who lost their valuables responded in dismay, there were those who were swift to suggest it was their own fault.
“You didn’t lock your doors?”
“You left your keys in the car?”
“What did you think would happen?”
And that’s easy to say when you have a car, and a purse, and a laptop safe because you locked your vehicle. You can coldly call the victims shortsighted and naïve because you have not lost anything.
But I believe you have, indeed, lost something.
You have lost your sense of what’s right, and who is wrong.
Misplaced trust is not a crime, but stealing a car sure as heck is.
Instead of shaking our heads and saying they deserved what they got, we should be reaching out with a helpful hand, or at the very least some empathy, for the situation in which they find themselves.
Whether the common-sense argument of the day is about burglary or bullying, politics or playground safety, we need to remember however wise the precautions we take may be, they shouldn’t be necessities. Things such as honesty, decency and fair treatment should be the standard, not the surprise. We owe that to ourselves and our neighbors.
For as long as we belittle those who assume the best of our community, instead of those who act the worst of it, we most definitely have lost something.
Thanks for reading.