Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Learning Lessons

Okay, it's my blog and I can say what I want. I will make some slight changes in this installment, but the basic event is true.

We've known Larry and Lucy (names changed to protect the guilty) for many years. Our relationship is similar to a neighbor. We know a lot about them and vice verse. We have also done them quite a few favors, but we're not keeping a scorecard.

Well, Larry and Lucy had a tag sale and my husband went to it. He ended up purchasing a good size nativity scene. It was in a box and each piece was wrapped in paper or plastic. He looked at a few pieces and decided to buy it. Had he thought about the favors that we have done for this couple, he may have thought about talking down the $10 price tag, but he didn't.

When he got it home, we first discovered that Joseph had a piece broken off of his foot. Well, we can live with that. We examined the other pieces and all were very nice but I realized that the baby Jesus was missing. What good is a nativity scene without a baby Jesus?

I saw Larry the next day and asked if he could ask Lucy to look for the baby Jesus. He said he would. Well, the day after that, I saw Larry and he said it would be next to impossible to find it. So, then I asked him if we could have our money back. A nativity scene without Jesus is pointless. He said "As is". He said George had talked Lucy down from $15. (first lie--I still had the $10 sticker) and that George had looked at it for quite a while (second lie).

Now as I said, we have known Lucy and Larry for years. We should have known this would have been the outcome--money hungry, cheat, lie steal for a buck. I just somehow thought that perhaps their standards would be different with acquaintances that they knew so well and would still be seeing often. They bragged that they had made over $3,000. on their tag sale. So, $10 is going to kill them? And it's not the money. $10 is not going to kill me. I don't even need a nativity scene. I have one. It's the principal. I could tell you about the many favors we have done for them. I thought we would have been treated with a little more respect. I would not have done this even to a stranger.

This past summer we went to a tag sale a few streets over and bought a used VCR that we discovered didn't work when we got it home. We took it back and this stranger gave us our money back.

I know people can say, "buyer beware" or that we should have inspected it more. Yes, if it were a stranger, but from someone you've known more then ten years? Know we know, we are not exempt from their shady dealings. We were too trusting. Never again. I heard of another "friend" of theirs who got shafted by this tag sale. It's like money overtook their souls and believe me, they are not hurting for money.

Now there will be times in the future when Larry and Lucy are going to need a favor. In fact Larry already asked me to do something for him next week. So many vengeful thoughts have filled my head all day. I could easily get revenge and it could be sweet, if it weren't that I have a conscious. It's not fair that they don't. Can I be a bigger, better person? Well, if I had had to return that favor today, I don't think I would have been a better person. I need a little time to pass.

Funny the whole thing centers around Jesus. They obviously don't have him in their lives and when I asked them to look for him, they couldn't find him. I proclaim to have Jesus in my life, but symbolically He is missing in this whole situation. I know what Jesus would do, forgive and forget, but I do believe we should learn from this situation too. We cannot let people continue to walk all over ourselves and others. I know it is not our place to get revenge, but perhaps it is our place to remind them that when the store attendant gives you the wrong change in your favor, first it is wrong to take it and secondly, it is wrong to brag about it.

I know we shouldn't judge others either, but I think we should be helping to teach them right from wrong. There are too many Larrys and Lucys in the world (though thankfully I don't know many personally and believe me if I didn't have to, I wouldn't be in their company). I don't think it means to watch them take advantage of people over and over. Larrys and Lucys want more and more and are feeling entitled to more and more--sue crazy and looking for handouts. You know the old cartoon with the devil on one shoulder and the angel on the other? We need more angels on the shoulders of consciously challenged individuals. Be an angel, maybe we can change the world one at a time.

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