At the time of this writing,
I have managed over 55 years in this world
without stealing a single thing in my life.
which means that it is impossible for me
– as an honest and honourable man –
to even imagine the type of self-centred presumption
and contempt for human beings
as so evidently exists in shop-owners
and store managers who display,
at the entrance to their establishments,
signs demanding that potential customers
“leave all bags at the front”.
I understand that the generality of the human race
has deteriorated in morals and basic manners
to such a degree over the past thirty years,
cannot communicate without filthy profanity
or to ‘go out of their way’ to exercise basic,
common courtesy – for pity’s sake,
modern men do not even have the decency
to remove their hats when seated at a table
for a meal.
Human beings may have collectively descended
to below the level of animals – BUT that – ( surely ? ) –
does not give you license to abandon discernment
and the application of discretion, and presume that
EVERY Customer who enters your shop
… is a thief …
deserving of having their character degraded by you ?
Of course, you do not remove the (often large)
‘handbags’ of women.
Or bar THEM from entering your premises —
You wouldn’t dare.
A woman carrying a bag … is a Customer.
A man carrying a bag … is a Thief.
In a ‘New World’ of mindless compliance,
I realise that multitudes will see nothing wrong at all
in being presumed a thief, and therefore
are happy to leave their personal possessions
at the front of your shop …
But there are a few of us – “old folks” – still walking
this earth, who have lived lives of courtesy
and consideration towards other people;
who were raised with moral integrity
and “old fashioned”, (dare-I-say?) ‘biblical’ values
of conduct and self control.
Honourable people still exist.
They might even walk through the door
of an establishment such as yours.
I will not willingly surrender my bag to a thug with a gun:
I certainly will not surrender it to you,
who complacently presumes that I am a thief.
I have observed – since the mid-1980’s in particular,
the eradication of manners and moral decency
in this world;
and have watched selfishness, vanity,
and crude speech and behaviour
rise to levels that are nothing less than obscene.
It may well be that I am the only person walking this earth
who will not sell his character
for the sake of buying and acquiring some … thing.
There is nothing in your shop important enough
for me to submit
to you degrading my moral character.
I would not give my bag to a thug
with a gun.
Nor am I going to hand it to a thug
with a cash register.
The atrocity, I suppose, is not so much
having the callous contempt of a bully:
but in being so bereft of a conscience
as to feel no shame because of it.
This is an age when corporate supermarkets
hire less staff and demand customers
scan and load their own groceries
… in bags that they have to provide themselves.
All to … ‘Save the Earth’ … of course.
But such brazen disregard for customer service
need not be a hallmark of your shop, surely ?
How would it be then, shop-keeper,
if you began to display appreciation
for those who seek to spend their money
in your shop …
Rather than immediately presume
that anyone who walks through your door
is a thief ?