If you’re anything like everyone else on the planet, you’re pretty good at proving your innocence. As am I.
Your boss fails to notice all the great work you’ve been doing. Someone swipes your frozen entree. Your co-worker rambles on about his marital woes. Someone cuts you off in traffic. Your spouse is such a poor listener at dinner. You sit up late feeling sorry for yourself, needing the empty laughter of TV reruns. You fall asleep on the couch.
The next morning you wake up late because you missed your alarm. You drag yourself into work late. You would’ve been later had you not speed through those lights. You forgot your lunch so on your break you spot a Freezer Queen meal, covered in ice, which you have seen there for weeks. You take and eat it planning to replace it the next day.
But on your way home, your spouse calls. She tells you about some trouble your kid got into at school. You need to get home straightaway. So, you skip the store.
A few days later when your co-worker checks the freezer for the just-in-case meal he has stowed away there he is frustrated when he is unable to find it.
He goes out for lunch. He’s late getting back because servers were changing shifts and he had to wait for his ticket. This is the third time recently that this has happened. When he returns a half-hour late, he is called in to speak with the boss who then fires him.
When he is unable to land a new job, his wife threatens to leave him. This is his fault. This is an old routine. She is tired of it. He loses his insurance coverage and as a result cannot fill his anti-depressant. She secretly takes out a credit card in his name and takes to power shopping.
Months later he intercepts a call from a collections agency who threaten to take away his car. She gets home from the mall to discover his body hanging in the coat closet.
It may have all been different had you not stolen his lunch. You assure yourself, you couldn’t have helped the situation. He was troubled. His marriage was troubled. His wife had that secret credit account. That was the deal breaker.
This isn’t your fault.
This would’ve happened either way.
You can go back to your regularly scheduled self-absorption. I know I will.