In January I bought a bike here in Cuenca. I rode it home from the bike store to my apartment, and that was the last time I ever rode that bike. In a flash it was gone … stolen … no más.
I can’t say that I was not at all bothered by the theft … I was looking forward to touring the area on that bike. But really, I was over it quickly.
It was only a $60 used bike, and perhaps that is why I was hardly bothered. It looked like it had been pieced together from various other bikes, and I was just hoping that it would last the few months I am here. I had even done the responsible thing and locked it to a steel pole with a heavy duty chain, moreover it was out of site except for those who live or work in my building. But alas, my Master lock was not sufficiently heavy duty enough to hold back the implement that was used to pry-open the lock. The bike is gone, the lock is destroyed – but hey, I still have the heavy duty chain that was left there on the ground.
Would I be more upset if the bike was worth more … or if something of greater value was stolen from me? A few days ago one of my fellow teachers told me that his MacBook was stolen, and he was pretty upset about it. He had been on a Skype call with his mother, and his MacBook was in a case next to his feet. Evidently, some thief sat next to him, and when the thief’s accomplice created a brief diversion, the MacBook disappeared. Surely that theft was more upsetting than the theft of my used bike. As a result, and if I might make a general statement about all of us, it seems that our degree of disappointment is directly proportional to the amount of loss.
What is there to learn from this?
First of all, realize that for every act of unkindness in the world, there are probably thousands of acts of kindness. Refuse to focus on the bad, but instead focus on all the good.
And secondly, we would do well to be less attached to stuff, and more attached to storing up true treasures in our hearts that no thief can steal.