Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Not Negative

I'm feeling good this morning. I am going to try very hard not to let any negative thoughts enter my head today.

Well, so much for that. It's funny how the second sentence destroyed the first. The minute I thought about not having negative thoughts, I had a negative thought. It's how the mind works. Try telling yourself not to think about a white elephant, or not to worry about where your kids are, or not to care about something. The mind eliminates the "not" in every case. We are hard wired to focus on the subject, and to ignore the modifiers.

This is how I think about the fellow who defrauded the good folks of Claresholm, Alberta. He arrived in town, healthy looking and fit, and declared that he was an evacuee from the fires in Fort McMurray. He had a sad story, where he and his wife, the woman with him, had fled the fires, seeing their house catch fire in the mirror as they drove away.

As with all small towns, Claresholm welcomed them, helped him, fed them, clothed them. Then the townsfolk began to notice that his behaviour did not line up with his story, that there were too many "modifiers". When offered a free meal at a local restaurant, he chose the most expensive steak on the menu. When offered a job, he turned it down, citing stress as his reason for not working. Yet he was certainly fit, active, able to move into the mobile home offered to him as a temporary place to live.

People focused on him, the subject, and not on all his "modifiers", all his excuses and stories. And when they figured out the truth, they called the cops. The fraudster, like all low level crooks, was not smart enough to get away before capture. He will do jail time, but probably not enough.

As far as I am concerned, he is the lowest form of criminal, or nearly the lowest. He takes advantage of people's generosity, the willingness help a stranger in need. Men and women like him abound after a disaster, seeking to prey on the good will of others. They have no shame, no sense of the harm they do. All they want is what they can get. After that, they don't care. They represent the worst of humanity, they take when others are so much in need.

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