Monday, March 05, 2012

Price of greed

The price of greed is a tough lesson to learn. The younger you are when this lesson is learned the harder it is to accept. We all experience this tragedy of greed. Unfortunately the consequences of someone's greed has a way of making more than the intended victim suffer.

It's unfortunate that a little kid lost an iPhone to greed. One would expect that your belongings at school in the classroom would remain not bothered. Yet that is no longer the case. How does this happen? Why? Many questions. All thinking points. I don't know what would initiate theft in a 4th grade classroom other than envy. The BIG green monster lurking inside us all. ENVY. WANT. MORE.

Being unable to accept what we are given and to be happy for it is a struggle for all humans.

Children are naturally fascinated with new things and oh so eager to show and tell. Sometimes that eagerness can be seen a pride. What happened is a kid in Olivia's class had their phone stolen. It occurred in the middle of the day at some point when the whole class was out of the room for specials and recess. It has been months since the phone went missing. Still no one has come forward and no one has admitted the crime. I am baffled by this incident. Shortly after the phone was reported missing a letter went home to all parents reporting that an iPhone was stolen and requested that anyone with information should report it to the school. Nothing. 3 months later and not a trace of the phone. Someone somewhere has to know by this point who took the phone. Some parent has to have discovered a new toy in their kid's room. You would think the kid who took the phone would have finally felt enough guilt to confess. Maybe I expect too much. Maybe I am crazy to believe honest people are out there. I hoped by now that the phone would be located and returned. I think by now we can assume that it's gone for good. I think the failures of good parenting and communication are contributing factors.

I heard about the new phone well before the phone went missing. Olivia recounted to me how this classmate was causing quite a stir showing off the fancy phone. Often getting it out during breaks in the day, moving it from backpack to desk all day, this student was really borderline flaunting the device. Not that those actions are bad, it's just that at school being around so many kids is not the safest place to brag about your new stuff. Kids are thinking about sharing their excitement not about what others feel about their stuff. Not everyone has the resources to enjoy the same things your kid does. Often we forget about that and definitely so do our kids. We forget that there are differences. While some families prosper others are struggling. The parents of the phone kid should have been more clear about the phone and the proper ways to keep it secure. Maybe that's asking too much of a 9 year old but I don't think so. I know many kids with phones at elementary school and you'd never know they have them. It's because they have been instructed by their parents to tuck those phones away and NEVER touch them at school. This kid was obviously quite proud to have this phone. To be a big kid. There is nothing wrong with that student feeling those feelings. The phone was taken by someone who really wanted it who really felt they needed it and possibly was slightly envious of the owner. Unfortunate. The person who took it has been lacking good parenting too. That's a shame because this kid obviously has no remorse for the crime. That saddens me.

What I'm confused about is how frequent the phone kid got out that phone and yet it continued right up to the day it went missing. Olivia told me many times how the teacher instructed the phone kid to put it away and not get it out again. You'd think that at some point a communication would have been sent to the parents. If I were the teacher I would have made it clear that the phone has become a distraction and needs to stop. (Phone, DS, etc, anything distracting that much would warrant a message home) So I was surprised to learn the phone was stolen. I figured the parents would have made an effort to encourage their kid to keep that phone put away.  Now the lesson was learned the hard way. At this point everyone is a possible thief except for the phone kid and three others. One of the three is Olivia. She and 2 others were in the office visiting the nurse when the phone went missing. Thank goodness. I'm pretty sure Olivia wouldn't do anything that terrible. It's just that she is so observant that I'd be worried she may have seen something. That may have put her in a difficult situation. I don't think doing what is right would be that difficult for her. She has strong feelings of justice. She expressed to me from the first that the kid showing off the phone should have been more discrete so that other kids wouldn't feel bad about not having one too. Even more than doing what is right she strongly believes that stealing is wrong and that it does not matter who is the victim. Bottom line if it's not yours don't touch it. I'm just glad that she was no part of the incident and that she has been eliminated from it entirely.

The whole mess has done one thing for us open up a discussion. Since the phone is still missing we can't say for certain what happened to it. All we know is that it was taken and was likely taken when the class was out of the classroom. It's assumed that a classmate took the phone. It's assumed because the person would have to have known where that kid put the phone. If you take into consideration how frequently that kid moved the phone from backpack to desk whoever took it had to know exactly where that phone was in the room. There is a small possibility that a non-classmate took the phone. Regardless of what happened we were able to talk to the big girls about this in great detail. It gave us an opportunity to point out that being careful with your belongings is important. But that does not mean you too won't be a victim. We focused on doing the right thing. Knowing when to do the right thing and when to ask for help. I just hope that they remember our conversation and try real hard to be the best classmate they can be.


No comments :