It was the summer between 8th and 9th grades when I decided to become a thief. I went into the bookstore in Atchison, Kansas with the intent to steal. I browsed the bookshelves until I found something…didn’t seem to matter what. I stuck a book under my coat and out the door I went - undetected. At first, I felt exhilarated. I got away with it! But I wasn’t two blocks away from the book store when the guilt began to swell. I envisioned returning the book, but how could I do that without turning myself in and catching hell? So, I kept the book and stashed it away under my bed. It stayed there for a long while, burning like a hot coal beneath me. Every once in a while, I would pull it out to look at it…certain that it was a testament to my certain damnation to hell. 🥵
Ultimately, the only resolution that I could find to salve my guilt while serving my punishment was to read the damn thing. The book: Betrand Russell’s, A History of Western Philosophy. That book sealed my destiny. I was fated to pick and probe at the universe for the rest of my life, constantly asking,
Why am I here? What is this world all about? What are the deep spiritual truths? What role do I play in life on this earth?
And, to my knowledge, I have never stolen since that day…😳