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The law of attraction.

March 18, 2010

We are enjoying the spring weather while it lasts – there’s snow in the forecast again for the weekend, which seems like an unnecessarily cruel trick. Yesterday evening, when we discovered we’d run out of milk, AJ and I walked down the road and across the street to 7-11. I like walking with AJ, because he talks about things when we’re walking that he doesn’t think to say at other times.

Yesterday, he was asking about the guy who’d been sitting by the side of the road in the morning.

“Did the police arrest him?”

“I don’t think so. I don’t think he did anything wrong. Have you heard the phrase ‘innocent until proven guilty?’”

And we launched into a discussion of personal freedoms and what you can and can’t do. And whether or not it’s wrong for someone to do something that’s strange.

“Can you get expelled from school for something you did not at school?”

“Yes, but it depends on what it is. Like if a kid were found to have a gun illegally at his house, he’d probably be suspended from school. But if a kid stole a candy bar from the drugstore, he’d get in trouble, but he probably wouldn’t be expelled or suspended at school. If he does something that makes him a danger to others, then they kick him out.”

“But stealing’s still bad.”

“Yes it is. But sometimes the circumstances make us see things differently. When I was your age, I accidentally stole a piece of candy from a store. I’d gone there with my friend and had picked the candy up when I walked in and then got distracted wandering around the store with my friend. I didn’t realize I’d done it until I got home. But even though I hadn’t meant to steal it, it was still wrong. The candy didn’t belong to me. So my mom made me walk all the way back to the store and give it back.”

“Was it a long walk?”

“It was about a mile each way.”

“What if the store had been closed?”

“I would have been mad, because then I would have walked two extra miles and I still would have had to go back again the next day.”

“What if the store closed for good?”

“Well, then I guess it would have been okay for me to keep the candy. Sometimes you can’t give things back, but if you make a real effort and you can’t give it back, then sometimes there’s nothing you can do”

“And then finders keepers?”

“Loosers weepers.”

And then I told AJ about how when I was nine, I found £80 on the steps of the British Museum. It was worth close to $200 at the time, which was about as much money as I had ever seen. I walked back into the museum and asked the guard about putting it in a lost and found but he laughed at me and told me to keep it.

“Wow,” he said wistfully. “That was lucky.”

By this point in our talk, we were at the busy street. We crossed and there, in the mud next to where they are building a sidewalk, was a $5 bill. I picked it up and gave it to AJ.

“Should I try to find who it belongs to?”

“I’m not sure how you could, AJ. There’s nothing here. And it’s not very much. I think it would be okay to keep it.”

Minutes later, he found a mess of change in the parking lot of the 7-11.

“See what happens when you walk?” I said.

“You find stuff.”


“Let’s see what we can find on the way back.”

4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 18, 2010 1:27 pm

    I’m glad AJ was lucky on your walk. Every state has different rules, but in my state, the only way a student can be suspended for something that didn’t happen at school is if the student has been convicted of a violent crime. Then, we still must provide assignments and grades for the student; they just can’t come to school. So, having an illegal gun at home wouldn’t keep the student out here, and we couldn’t keep them out while they were on trial for something that is deemed violent either. It’s an interesting system at times!

  2. March 18, 2010 2:02 pm

    Wow- the things that have been hiding under all that snow will now be revealed!

  3. freshhell permalink
    March 18, 2010 2:05 pm

    Awesome. I love finding money in the street. Usually I only find dimes and quarters but once I found $5, too.

    Confession: I once stole a pack of gum from the grocery store on purpose. I think it was that striped gum with the zebra on the pack. My mother never let me have gum – I think I was about four yrs old – and I wanted it really badly for some reason. She caught me when we got home because I was chewing gum and she couldn’t figure out where I’d gotten it from. I finally confessed and had to go back to the store and apologize. I’m sure my mom had to pay the ten cents.

  4. March 19, 2010 6:55 pm

    That is a lucky walk. AJ seems to really think about things, more than I’d expect for his age.

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