Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Ten Commandments Scavenger Hunt! Part Three, Commandment Eight

Well, I got off my game for a few weeks there. Sorry about that. My mom won the hunt for commandment nine on lying, by the way, which I'm mildly embarrassed to admit but a game's a game. Mom, your book is in the mail. Trust me.

**Keep reading for a chance to win a free book!**
In case it's not obvious, we're in the midst of a series on the Ten Commandments, inspired by the book Ten: Words of Life for an Addicted, Compulsive, Cynical, Divided and Worn-Out Culture by Sean Gladding. Sean is a friend, someone I admire greatly, and his books are always a delight. This one is a survey of the Ten Commandments (or, as he prefers, Ten Words) as explored by an informal gathering of an eclectic group of people at a coffee shop "somewhere in Middle America," as Counting Crows puts it.

Get Ten by Sean Gladding at 40% off! Click here.
Sean goes in reverse order through the Ten Words, so while this is only our third scavenger hunt, we're looking for the Eighth Word:

"No stealing."
Really, it's that straightforward. Here's an excerpt from the book:

"My house was burglarized once." Everyone turned toward Sam. ... "They wound up only taking some computer equipment and some loose cash lying around. The police thought they might have been looking for drugs or guns."

Ellie leaned across and touched Sam's forearm. "How did you feel?"

He patted her hand. "Pretty violated, to be honest. ... I started paying a lot more attention to people in the neighborhood after that. If I didn't recognize them and thought they looked a bit shifty, I'd sometimes follow them in my car. Making sure they weren't up to anything bad." He shook his head sadly. "But I eventually stopped that. That's no way to live - full of fear and distrust."

"That could have been me," said Carlos. "I've been in enough meetings to know that. ... I was already stealing. Taking people's pain pills from their medicine cabinet when I was using the restroom. Lifting bottles of liquor from their wet bars. You don't realize just how much you've done until you do a fourth step and write it all out. And then when I did my fifth step and read it to Rick, I learned all the other ways I'd stolen as well."

"What do you mean?" asked Ellie. ...

"How much time have you spent drunk or high? How much time have you spent hung-over and barely functioning? How much time have you spent thinking about partying? Or planning your next bender? Or sitting in jail? Because that's time you stole from your family. Time you stole from your friends. Time you stole from your employers. Time you stole from your community, by failing to participate." ...

The silence was broken by Steve, who spoke in a gruff voice. "Well, Carlos, hearing you talk makes me wonder if I'm not much different from you." Carlos looked up at him. "Oh, I don't mean that I've stolen bourbon from my friends. Or that I'm an addict. But I've stolen a whole ton of time from my family. ... I bet you if I made a list like yours and added up all the hours I was at work before and after everyone else was in the office, and the hours I was thinking about business while I was at home, and the nights I was entertaining clients - all time I stole from my family - I'd be shocked." His shoulders slumped. "Or maybe not. I guess I've always known in the back of my mind the truth of what I was doing." ...
That's the book. Now here's the scavenger hunt part: Fetch me an example of theft in our contemporary culture. It can be something personal, something commercial, something institutional, something metaphorical. You can confess it, or you can lament it. Or both, I suppose. Whatever it is, it should be specific.

Tweet it, Facebook it, email it to me or post it here in the comments; wherever you put it, use the hash tag "#10Cscavengerhunt" so the rest of us can find it.

The best example of theft (as judged by me) wins a free copy of Ten.

Meanwhile, if you'd like to hear more about the book, or you simply want to hear Sean's comforting British accent, watch a video about Ten here:

2 comments:

Wes White said...

(I posted this here, because my FB is private and I doubt that you could see/read my post)

A car sized pile of guilt.

Guilt is such an amazing and powerful force in our life. I feel guilt that I check facebook when my son wants to play trains and I'm distracted from truly being the character Percy (one of the characters from the Thomas the Train series). I feel guilt when I steal time from my family when I sleep instead of getting up and being present with them over the weekend, because selfishly I feel like I deserve that time because I work hard during the week.

Some people feel such guilt that they think that when bad things happen to them, it is because they deserve it. They place blame or curses on physical or metaphysical objects to mitigate the grief they feel over having taken something that wasn't theirs to begin with.

Case: Petrified Wood National Forest.

For years people have been lifting rocks from this national forest and have been sending them back with confession (guilt) letters. Most of these letters contain information regarding the fact that shortly after they took the petrified wood, bad things started to happen to them. One woman even claimed her husband died shortly after. Can a rock (not hurled at someone) really bring about your death? Probably not, but guilt can certainly make you wish you were dead. There is a car sized pile of rocks (guilt) in the maintenance area of the park that can attest to this.

Here is to not stealing rocks, time from others, or your own life by being consumed with false guilt. Because, that is stealing too.

More on the forest: http://www.parkadvocate.org/bad-luck-hot-rocks-stories-behind-the-cursed-thieves-of-petrified-forest/


#10Cscavengerhunt

David Zimmerman said...

That's a good one! I've got you in the mix; I'll announce the winner when I post the next scavenger hunt!