How to be a decent human being

It’s not difficult to be a decent human being – at least, I don’t think so. I can pretty much boil it down to one sentence. Be nice to each other. Anything else is just a sub sentence of this. IE:

  • Don’t steal other people’s stuff
  • Don’t discriminate because someone is different to you (be they a different gender, race, sexuality or species)
  • Don’t pollute the space you and everyone else lives in

These are all quite negative sub sentences. Here’s some positive ones.

  • Respect everyone equally – including yourself
  • Smile
  • Do random acts of kindness
  • Share

The reason for the post is because the other day, someone smashed one of the windows in my car, and stole my laptop bag. I’m sure many people have sadly experienced having something stolen from them – however this was the first time anything like this has happened to me. In 24 years of my life, I’ve been lucky enough to never had anyone violate my personal belongings like this before.

Since this incident, many things have gone through my head, and I’ve experienced a rainbow of different emotions.

Confusion: why is that all they took? It was actually probably the least valuable thing in the car. I had a speaker system in there, professional microphones and and a DSLR camera. My laptop was broken – hence why it was still in the car – I was due to be taking it to get fixed the next day – and the only other things in that bag were personal items such as some little bits of costume jewellery, paper with notes on, some clothes and my work diary.

Anger: I like to think that I am a good person. I do my best to stick to the “be nice to each other” thing. I give as much as I can to people. I’m currently working on a project that will hopefully bring a local community together with arts, and provide jobs and training for people. Why has something like this happened to me? How dare someone else feel like they can violate another person’s property, and just take what isn’t theirs.

Upset: Several times after this incident, I have thought “what’s the point?”. Why do I bother with everything I do – a lot of the things I do mean that I have to pay out of my own pocket to help others. I would rather go without a wage for a month if it means I can keep something that helps other people running. But after this, why should I bother? What thanks do I get for it? Someone causing hundreds of pounds of damage to my property and my life.

Blame: I left my laptop bag on view in my car. It was a silly mistake, and I can give you as many excuses under the sun as to why I did – it was a busy day that I had planned, I had parked up and went in to do a gig at a local pub, and it was the last part of my day – I was excited to perform, as I usually am, but also was happy that I’d got through the day, and I could go home to my other half and relax after it. I was parked in Old Portsmouth – an area I would consider to be quite safe. So I was careless. But that doesn’t change the fact, that I feel that it was my fault that my car got broken in to – like I was asking to be stolen from.

Frustration: Although my laptop was broken, it still turned on, and I had a lot of passwords on there. Most of the websites I visited would login automatically. And a lot of my passwords were – as I’m sure most of you have – pretty much the same, with small variations. This has meant I have had to create a list of every site I log in to – even if it didn’t log in automatically on my laptop – and change the passwords. I’ve also had to get all my bank passwords changed, as some of them were saved on there too. The other frustration was loosing my work diary – which to me, was a bigger loss than my laptop. As I am self employed, that has all my lessons, meetings, gigs and my to do lists in it. It is also the way I figure out my expenses for my tax return. Along with this is the monetary issue – I recently lost a big chunk of my income – happens sometimes when you are self employed – and to suddenly be faced with needing to find £100 to cover the excess of getting the window replaced, plus around £500 to get a new laptop – I just feel like it couldn’t have come at a worse time.

Relief: This one I have struggled to honestly feel, but I keep telling myself how much worse it could have been. There are so many more people that go through so much worse every day. To loose just a laptop and a diary, is not that big a deal in the great scheme of things.

Pity: There are two reasons why someone would have broken in to my car. One is that they are a compulsive thief, and they go around looking for things to take. The other is that they could be homeless, or poor due to not being able to work, and the fact that benefits are so difficult to get, they could have no other way of getting money. Either of these characters deserve my pity. The first one will get their comeuppance one day. I have to believe that what goes around comes around. The other character, I just hope gets the ability to be given a second chance.

Despite all these feelings, I still feel violated, and, at the time of writing this, very insecure – no matter what it may appear on Facebook with my positive posts and turning this situation on it’s head – that’s my way of trying my hardest to honestly feel those things – by sharing them with others.

I wanted to write this post to help clear my own head a little bit, and share my experience with others. If I can help stop someone else having to experience this, then I will maybe feel a little bit better.

As a community, we need to treat people better, and raise people to expect more of themselves and others. I know some people say that there will always be those who are not nice – that they are born that way. I don’t believe it. I can’t believe that a child is born without a conscience. Some may be more susceptible to corruption, but the way we bring them up – as a society – is what changes people. The media, and the community has as much responsibility for the way people are as their parents do.

Going forward, I am hopeful that once my car is fixed, I have a new diary and a new laptop, I will be able to get over this situation fully, and continue my life the way I want – helping other people to be a better them, and create a better world.

One thought on “How to be a decent human being

  1. Excellent post Becki – I empathise with you, having had place I lived in broken into, purse taken from my handbag and also car broken into I too have felt all these same things that you’ve highlighted here. We do have to hope that people will do unto others as they would have done unto themselves, unfortunately it isn’t always the case….

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