When you don’t clean up your own messes you are stealing.
This can be messes at work, messes in your relationships, literal messes in your house. If you make a mess and leave it for someone else to fix you are stealing time from them.
When material goods lose value, time becomes all we have
It is easy to get stuck in one-directional thinking. When I love something, I try to look at it from many angles. Through examinations allow for more accurate observations than casual glances do.
In Buddhism, there are five precepts, or rules, governing behavior helping to point you in the correct direction as you first getting started down the path. At first, the rules seem simple but as you undertake them you realize some of their implications (and your own) are less obvious.
For example, the 2nd precept is to abstain from stealing. Most people know you should not steal and will breeze right over this rule without giving it additional thought. Further study leads to alternate translations “I will not take what has not been freely given”.
Modern people obsess over things and objects, but in the Buddha’s time, most people would not have had the means to be as materialistic as we are today. Yes, this precept is saying that you should not steal things from other people, but the phrase “what has not been freely given” can easily include so much more.
First I would like to point out that this includes time. When you have to do everything the old fashioned way, from getting water to making food from scratch, (and now that many people work 45-60 hours a week) time is everything.
Taking someone’s time is stealing and it is disrespectful. Please think about this, as I feel the offense is no different from taking the money from someone’s checking account.
Think about the consequences of your actions, contemplating the reach of your karma. Are you indirectly stealing from the people around you? Are you stealing their valuable time and energy?
That project at work when you pretended you didn’t notice your own mistake (so you could get off work on time) – what about the person who has to go behind you and fix it? After you made your sandwich did you leave mayo and breadcrumbs all over the counter for your mother to clean your mess? Did you leave your dishes in the sink hoping your roommate won’t mind?
Little transgressions, lazy things we do that drive the people around us crazy. Stealing time. On the surface, it may just seem like bread crumbs and dishes, but below a much more sinister plot is brewing. Maybe you don’t realize the full weight of your actions – you are unaware of your thefts.
Stealing is stealing.
When you steal from someone you place yourself above them, saying “my needs are more important than yours”. When you steal time from someone you say, “my time on earth is more valuable than yours”. Stealing someone’s things is also stealing someone’s time because they most likely had to work and put in the time to earn whatever you’ve stolen.
Stealing someone’s things is also stealing someone’s time because they most likely had to work and put in the time to earn whatever you’ve stolen. When you steal from someone you are disrespecting them. Don’t disrespect the people in your life. People will remember your actions more than what you say.
Think about the ways you may be stealing from the people around you – taking more than is offered, being late for work, leaving a mess behind you (literally or figuratively). Be mindful of your actions and their effects, be mindful of your karma.
Are you a thief?