They didn’t take any material possessions. The thieves weren’t interested in those.
Instead, they wanted what I treasure most: my individuality and integrity.
I shouldn’t be bothered by people who want to steal something they have so little chance of getting.
But, for whatever reason, some people behave like crows who pick at whatever bright and shiny object they see. The more someone else shines, the more they pick.
And so they picked at me.
They picked at my efforts to change a system that is obviously broken but in which they feel comfortable. They picked at my tendency for being outspoken by claiming I try to be hurtful. Worst of all, they picked at my reputation by twisting, and sometimes completely changing, my words, actions and intentions.
Pick. Pick. Pick.
Thankfully, I have fairly thick skin so my individuality and integrity are still in tact despite their best efforts.
But that doesn’t mean they didn’t steal something, because they did.
They stole my time.
Even worse, they were able to take it because I let them.
I let them take my time when I worried if others would believe their stories.
I allowed them to take more of my time when I complained about them to others.
And I simply handed them my time while I wondered what I’d done to deserve such treatment.
In hindsight, I should not have given them a darn thing, especially something as precious as time.
I should have realized that there will always be people who don’t like me, what I stand for or what I hope to accomplish. And some of those people, like crows, try to find happiness by taking someone else’s.
Ironically, no one can find happiness by taking what doesn’t belong to them any more than we can find happiness worrying about what others think of us.
Life’s too short to worry about what the thieves might attempt to steal.
Instead, I’m going to enjoy all the thieves might covet while offering to share my happiness with anyone who cares to ask.
That’s a much better use of my time.