Photo via psychologies.co.uk

Photo via psychologies.co.uk

There’s something I want to get off my chest. Isn’t that what blogs are for? To vent your frustrations on a platform that will reach the masses? Yeah? Maybe? Fortunately, this is my blog so I get to do that when the occasion arises. So…what’s with some people? It may seem silly at this point but something happened this weekend that bugged me. Why do some people do the things they do? On Sunday afternoon, while walking my mother to her car from my house, I noticed that one of my planters was missing. You know the ones, they’re plastic, cement or cast iron and hold a variety of flowers. Granted, both of mine were empty because for various reasons I skipped planting flowers in them this year and opted for a few hanging plants.

Anyway, they were both sitting on the front porch (I guess for decoration) when I realized one was missing and tried to remember whether or not I’d moved it at some point. No I hadn’t.  It’s such a small thing  but it stung to realize that someone had walked up my driveway, up the walkway and then got on my porch, picked up one of the planters and then walked away.  What?!  I was ready to walk the neighborhood to find the culprit and snatch it back. It wasn’t the missing planter itself that made me upset but the principle of it.  I mean, who does that? Fortunately my mom talked my off the edge and convinced me to just let it go. I took a deep breath and said OK but I started thinking about why people do these things.  You may recall the rash of stolen Christmas wreaths In Toronto last Christmas.  To be fair, those probably cost more than my planter did but it still must have stung those home owners.

I was in Walmart (oh how I miss Target, but that’s another story) in the spring to buy a second garden hose when the cashier and I struck up a conversation about getting gardens ready for the season.  She mentioned that last year she’d bought some kind of fancy lawn ornament that someone eventually stole.  Come on people! Really? What happened to just admiring something and then moving on or buying it if it’s something you need. It’s possible that some folks don’t have the conscience to stop themselves from partaking in a five finger discount, so we have to accept that these things will continue to happen.  You think that your personal property is safe on your property but that clearly isn’t the case. It forces you to reconsider just how open you are with what you put out front (should your kids leave their bikes or toys out front when they come in for a break?). Stop me if I’m being petty but again, it’s the principle of what happened not the actual item that was stolen (although cars have been stolen from driveways so nothing is off limits).  Anyway, it was a great lesson in forgiveness and letting go of the anger. At the end of the day what good does holding onto anger do for me?  I can hold onto it and let it negatively affect the rest of my day or I can choose to suck it up and move on.  Just with any situation in life that isn’t agreeable, we take a moment to recognize what has us bothered, choose to forgive and then keep it movin’. Things are going to happen but it’s how we deal with these situations that make the difference.

It was also a great teaching moment for Miss O and I (while my mom was teaching me, I was teaching my daughter – how cool is that?).  She thought someone had taken our flowers so when we got back inside she found some of her flowers made of fabric and paper and gave them to me.  How sweet!  She tried to help me fix what initially had me upset.  It was a precious moment and helped me see the situation from Miss O’s perspective.  The point is, in most cases a stolen item can be replaced, it’s not worth the hassle of getting worked up about it (of course if something with sentimental value is stolen that’s a different situation).  I forgave whoever stole the planter and I hope that they don’t do it again to another neighbour.

Forgiving isn’t always easy to do, but it’s the right thing to do.  Sometimes it feels easier to hold onto the moment and the anger but here’s the thing, we can’t change what has already happened (groundbreaking revelation, I know), we can only impact how we handle things going forward.  When we take the high road we set a good example for our kids and others around us.  Maybe some of you can relate?  Let me know if you’ve experienced anything like this and how you managed to deal with it.

“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”

Matthew 6:14