Bags at the Front … ???

You want people in your shop
so that you can take their money,
and make a profit …

but you are not willing to treat them
with the common decency of NOT presuming
that they are thieves.

At the time of this writing,
I have managed to approach 60 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,
that multitudes

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 a particular 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 quite 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 have not YET been bred out
of the human race: a few still exist.

They might even walk through the door
of an establishment such as yours.

I have observed – since the mid-1980’s in particular,
the eradication of manners and moral decency;
while selfishness, vanity, crude speech and behaviour
rose to levels that are now 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
that is 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 that customers
scan and pack 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 ?

By all means, “reserve the right” to inspect
the bags of someone whom you have
just cause to believe has stolen merchandise,

without a sign declaring the wholesale degradation
of every adult that walks into your shop.

When they still existed, mature adults
would Think … with Discernment
and a Moral Conscience.

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 arrogantly, arbitrarily presume
that someone who walks through your door

is a thief ?

P Livingstone
philiplivingstone.org

Author: Mr Livingstone

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