A few days ago I was running errands and witnessed 2 incidents of stealing. The first incident was at a store around the corner where a couple kids shoved candy in their pockets. They pretended to go to the bathroom and then ran out of the store. The cashier was too busy ringing up my items to notice the little thieves leaving.
My next stop was a beauty supply store. The alarm button rang as a girl quickly walked out of the store and jumped into a parked car. The cashier said the girl stole a flat iron. “Are you going to report this to the police?” I asked. She replied, “No because they won’t do anything. The item stolen has to be over a certain dollar amount and that flat iron is under $100.”
Two thefts within one hour and I wondered how many people steal every day. My husband works for a big box retailer and he said that his company has a budget for stolen items. The store knows that thousands of dollars worth of stock will be stolen in one year.
If you add up the thefts I witnessed within 10 minutes of each other to one day and then year, that’s multiple millions of dollars worth of items stolen. A pocketful of candy or a flat iron may seem small to the thief but those stolen items add up to millions over the course of a year.
I thought of those two thieves when I watched the recent speech by President Donald Trump in Phoenix, AZ. Just as a child harmlessly stole a piece of candy, President Trump began to tell one lie after another. I could only watch 40 minutes of his rage against the press but heard enough lies about what he said and didn’t say about the Charlottesville protesters and the ‘tiny crowd’ of protesters outside of the Phoenix Convention Center when their were actually thousands of protesters.
The danger of a teeny lie is when the person lying says it so much without impunity that everyone believes the liar. The child stealing the candy thinks this is harmless because he doesn’t get caught just as the girl who stole the flat iron. What’s one piece of candy or one flat iron or a few lies and embellishments on a story?
A person who steals or lies sends the message that this is OK to their future spouse and children. Lying is called out in the 9th Commandment of the Bible and in this Proverb:
There are six things that the LORD strongly dislikes, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers. — Proverbs 6:16–19
God strongly dislikes a lying tongue and a false witness who breathes out lies. A world leader lying sends the message to millions of kids watching that lying is OK. A world leader bullying the media is OK. Insulting colleagues is OK. The civility of conduct you expect from a world leader is gone.
When I watch a presidential speech, I expected presidential conduct or a statesman to present a vision to bring together the nation. I’m sad that I’m not seeing this civility and statesmanship in my president. I don’t know that it will take for this to return to the office but I pray for him every day to find his way. We need President Trump to be the president and while I don’t agree with everything he has said and done, I believe he is capable of carrying this office.
I just don’t want to explain to my kids or future grandchildren why we allowed a president to continually lie to us and use his office as bully pulpit instead of a force for bringing us together to accomplish good for the nation.