was it?). At one point he said that he also had been tempted to steal objects from his clients that would have been the equivalent of a week's salary or more for him, but that he had never stolen anything in his adult life. And in that moment, I swear to you, I thought, "yeah, neither have I," despite having spent one year on such a shoplifting spree that I stole more days than not, among other exploits. Of course as I kept thinking about it, I remembered my career as a thief but still found it hilarious that I was nodding along with my uber-moral guide about what a bad thing stealing was.
I have written about this before (and forgotten about it, which is too funny given that the last post was all about how I have a tendency to forget anything shady from my past), but more in the terms of self-awareness. Which doesn't necessarily explain what happened shortly after.
I was watching what essentially was a morality play for children. There was a scene about theft, nearly identical to how I used to steal most frequently. One of the characters had stolen and I felt this anxiousness for him. When his friend suggested that they actually pay for the item, I wanted him to do that. I actually felt that stealing was wrong in this situation. I had a moment where I thought to myself, I am cured! I have a conscience. And then I remembered all of the stealing I had done (again) and asked myself, "why do you think that this instance of stealing is wrong but you never were capable of recognizing it before?" Was it because this children's program had simplified the subject enough and given sufficient cues such that even I was able to pick up on the wrongness of the stealing? Am I fine understanding the abstract concepts of right and wrong, just mixed up on the real world applications? Was the program inherently manipulative, my pangs of .... whatever more a tribute to my easy suggestibility than to having successfully birthed a conscience? Was it because the situation was so parallel to my own past, a past that I had to basically negative condition myself out of, Pavlovian aversion therapy style, in order to get myself to stop and to start leading a more legit lifestyle? I still don't know.