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Turn over a new leaf. Don't be a thief.

January 02, 2007|by ALAN SOKOL

Have you ever stolen anything from a friend before? Could be a little thing of no importance, or something that your friend would get very angry about if he knew you stole it.

Now, would it be any less wrong if you stole something from an anonymous person?

Of course not. Stealing anything from anyone is wrong. But some people don't realize it's wrong, and they just do it for fun.

Anyway, what's fun about stealing? You're making another person miserable, and that misery can fall onto them like a piano dropped from a skyscraper.

An example of that happened recently at my school, Saint Maria Goretti High School. A student stole my math teacher's calculator, the $100 graphing kind, and now we can't use our calculators in class for anything.

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One thing irks me: Why would a student steal something that every student must bring to class? It can't be because he or she wanted the calculator. It's probably because he or she wanted to feel the thrill of getting away with stealing something valuable to another person.

The irony is that when the thief is caught, the Honor Committee will have his head. The person will wish that he never stole the calculator in the first place.

This is an example of an in-school theft, but outside of school things are much worse.

Carjacking can be done just for thrills (or to strip a car and sell the parts), but this is a crime with serious consequences, such as jail time. Car owners can prevent their car from being stolen. For a start, you should always lock your car and shut off the engine whenever you leave it. Even if you're just buying gum at a gas station, things can happen in the blink of an eye. Just look what happened to K-Fed.

Of course, your car isn't the only thing that can be stolen from you. In today's world of technology and the Internet, your identity can be stolen from you. Well, thieves can't steal your identity per se, but they can duplicate your credit cards, land deeds and insurance claims and pretend to be you. Just be glad your birth certificate is safe.

Maybe your identity won't be stolen, but we all need to learn to stop stealing. So if you did steal something from a friend way back when, return it, make amends, auld lang syne and all that.

If you'd like to listen to the podcast version of this article, go to www.antpod.com and look under Alan's Yak. And if you'd like to share your stories, you can talk to Alan live using Skype. It's free to use; just add alans_yak to your contact list and start yakking!

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