STEALING IS A VICE
A vice is an immoral behaviour which a person exhibits. Usually, a vice is an undesirable behaviour that is condemnable by the society.
Stealing is the act of taking the property of another wrongfully and especially as a habitual or regular practice. Stealing may be defined as taking of property without right and the will to return.
Why do people steal?
It is important to note that stealing is a habit. Most habits that people have start while they are young. Children want to own everything with the thought, “It’s mine!” Children below the age of five are not sufficiently able to understand the concept of property. Apart from the fact that children want to own everything, older people steal because of jealousy.
Kleptomania is major reason for stealing. People with kleptomania feel strong urges to steal, with anxiety, tension, and arousal leading up to the theft and feeling pleasure and relief during the theft. Many kleptomaniacs also feel guilty or remorseful after the act of stealing is done, but are later unable to resist the urge.
Consequences of Stealing
There are many consequences of stealing with no benefit from this act, except the initial satisfaction derived from the theft. The first is loss of respect from the community, including parents, neighbours, families and friends. It becomes very disgraceful to live with these people and it causes you to live in a life in isolation and loneliness.
There are also legal consequences attached to stealing. People who steal will receive some sort of punishment, most likely fines or offenders may even get arrested leaving them with more issues to face than it would have been if the person didn’t steal in the first place.
In a case where goods are stolen from a store or supermarket, the cost of goods may be raised because they must bear the cost of replacing their goods unless they recover what was stolen.
Punishment for Thieves
There are many things that can be done to punish people who steal. For what may be considered ‘minor’ cases, a fine must be paid by the offender. On the other hand, for major cases serious punishments are given: jail terms and community service are some punishments for major cases.
For parents, if stealing is noticed in their children at the age they can be considered as mature, the child should be taken back to who or where the item was stolen to explain and apologise for their action. The embarrassment of facing up to what he or she did by having to return the item will serve as an everlasting lesson on why stealing is wrong and unacceptable.
Further punishment, particularly physical punishments will further give the thief reasons not to steal again.
How to prevent children from stealing
To prevent theft cases and embarrassment, it is best for parents to correct traits that may lead to the habit as soon as they are noticed as it is easier to get used to a habit at a young age than when an individual is older and more mature. If traits are shown in school, teachers must report cases to their parents and the students must also be punished in the school.
If you have already cultivated the habit of stealing, desist from it. Do not wait till you are caught before you begin to plead for mercy. You can talk to God by pleading for forgiveness for being a thief. Ask Jesus to come into your heart. Talk to a Christian adult whom you can trust for further help. May God help you in Jesus name. Amen!
Written by: Dan-Chigwalu Emika (Head Boy)