Thursday, February 11, 2010

I Want to Steal Daffodils

Down the street from my house is a house where yellow daffodils grow in clusters around the front yard. I pick a couple daffodils when no one is home. When a car is parked in the driveway, I stay on the sidewalk.
I put the daffodils in vases and enjoy them. Here's a photo of one so you can see for yourself how pretty they are. I just discovered, though, that I feel guilty for stealing.

I grow daffodils in my own yard, but they are pale cream in color and bland. I don't want my own daffodils. I want my neighbor's.
I'm now pissed off that I feel guilty over something so stupid as picking a few daffodils. It's a few dumb flowers, what on earth does it hurt? It hurts absolutely nothing, and I'm being ridiculous.
If it's no big deal, then, why do I so carefully stay on the sidewalk when the neighbor is home? I don't want to be caught stealing, that's why.
So is it okay to steal when no one is there to catch you at it?

Why am I having a moral crisis over picking my neighbor's daffodils? The truth is I've been sitting in judgment of another member of Alcoholics Anonymous. She stirred up some controversy, and I think I'm better than she is. I've been crabby for two days about this. I'm righteously angry, and I would like to stay that way. Oh, I love feeling superior!

I'm not a paragon of moral perfection. From small, insignificant thefts, to the full-blown seven deadly sins, I'm guilty of bad behavior. I make the situation worse when I blame someone else for committing a wrongful deed that I'm guilty of myself. Shame on me.

I guess I am going to have to stop picking daffodils at the neighbor's place. Somewhere it says we should concern ourselves with the plank in our own eye rather than the mote in someone's elses. Go figure.


RNSANE said...

Don't sweat the small stuff! I guess, if you really were upset about this, you could go to a florist and buy dafffodils but it would be an adventure then.

Madison said...

It's just a good thing that we don't have a bubble floating over our heads filled with momentary thoughts for all to read. Wouldn't people be surprised? I have learned the art of smiling while I'm royally pissed.

Karen said...

I understand your dilemma, Chris. Maybe your could tell your neighbors, the next time you see them out, that they have such beautiful daffodils that you have on occasion taken a few for your table. Who knows? Maybe they'll share their bounty.

As for the plank in your own eye, I remind myself of this frequently when I start to become critical of others. Still, we are only human and, therefore, full of fault. Thank goodness that we have opportunities for redemption.

Birdie said...

wow I'm blown away by your honesty! maybe you could tell your neighbours how much you love their flowers and ask them where did they got the seeds from, get the same kind of seeds & plant them in your garden ... just a suggestion :-) you yourself know best what to do :-) oh, the judgment thing ... we spoke about it with my friend the other day, saying that everybody judges everybody and how to 'stop' that - we didn't find a solution for now - lol ... blame in any form does no good but I think it happens to everyone and if we don't nourish it but we let it gently go away it's ok, have a lovely lovely day hugs

Brian Miller said...

so easy to do...

Poetikat said...

How about a confession? Would you wait until your neighbour is home, say, "I've admired your daffodils so much that I found myself picking a few to take home. Forgive me. You can have a few of my paler ones in exchange." (Or another flower they may not have.)

What say you to this, Chris?

the walking man said...

I do suppose that baking a pie or some such for your neighbor and asking to trade it for a couple of daffodils is out of the question eh?

One of life's little mysteries is how to not connect personally but objectively to what we see as a flaw in another eh?

Secretia said...

You can change the whole scenario with that other member. Go right up to her and befriend her. See how it changes things. Explain your differences of opinion while you're at it.

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

Yup, I was listening to a great set of speaker tapes last week and realizing how AWFULLY AW, damn-it FULLY full of judgments I am still.

STILL? God cant ya just take it all away at once?

Admitting it out loud is the first step on a good path to "stop it" but it's a path and it is supposed to be one that brings more light and allows others to follow it too. Sometimes quickly (god comes to us) sometimes slowly we return the favor. :)

Thanks for being so honest and allowing us to see the path to the light you tread.

Kim A. said...

If I had your address I would send you the biggest and brightest yellow daffodil bulbs I could find!

Those three fingers that point back at me do a good job of reminding me just how human I am. Don't forget to laugh, could give this person a bouquet of your flowers and they would never know the real meaning!!


Julie said...

I'm raising my hand here. Yep. I'm guilty, too. I'm also guilty of moral indignation. I'm hotheaded and stubborn. Like you, I always start feeling badly about it after a while.

That is an awesome picture. I don't blame you for wanting those flowers. That's only human. Yes, I've done plenty of things like that myself. Come to think of it, your post has made me think of several things I've done LATELY that I have tried to excuse as "insignificant" but I shouldn't have done.

You feel guilty, because you're a good person, Chris. You have a conscious, and that is a good thing!! The little voice we have that tells us to feel guilty is so important. It's only when we stop listening to it altogether that we get in trouble. Thanks for another post that makes me stop and think!

Prayer Girl said...

You sound so very human. The only perfect people are dead ones.

Sounds like the daffodils are not such a picky, petty thing after all. Sounds like God has provided some marvelous lessons just for you.

Why not consider approaching the neighbor and let them know what pleasure the beauty of their flowers gives you. Who knows, maybe God will provide a segue into asking if you might be able to pick a few for you home from time to time. Just a thought. :)


Dianne said...

Perhaps it is an opportunity to grow more daffodils.... and plant your feet in the fertile soil again....

dear one,

Lou said...

The plank in my eye has me damn near blind.

I can relate, people in meetings are nuts. Not me, but all of them:)

TechnoBabe said...

You worked through this on your own. Good for you. Listen to what is going on inside you. Deal with it. Then feel better. Hugs.

Enchanted Oak said...

Ha! I've found several good suggestions here. You know, when I posted this discussion of theft and resentment, I thought it might just be too dorky for words. It appears not to be. Aha! I see it has struck a chord. It's good to laugh at being human.

Magpie said...

You are so honest and willing to see and acknowledge the "not so nice" things in yourself. But the very fact you can do that, is the first step in fixing what is bothering you. I don't know if just avoiding the behavior in the future is going to really move you past this. Because really I don't think it's just about flowers, I think it's about respecting another person and their property. I would do as someone else suggested and take some of my own lovely-in-their-own-way flowers along with an heartfelt admission of, and apology for, my "theft". Who knows how God will use this situation to change lives? But I do know you'll be able to move past these feelings.

When we're in situations with "rules and laws" whether it's a job, meeting or church, we tend to become judgemental. We want to hold everyone accountable because we're working so hard to hold ourselves accountable. I tend to be a little OCD and that only makes it worse. Someone asked me once if I wanted to be right all the time or happy? It made me stop and think. That other person's walk is not mine and I won't pay any price exacted for their behavior, but I will be responsible for my response to their situation. I try always to not judge or police other's behavior and strive instead to be happy.

You're such a sharing person. Thank you for giving the rest of us the opportunity to check ourselves.

Matty said...

I agree with Prayer Girl. I would just tell the neighbors that you enjoy the flowers and see if they might share them with you. At the same time, you might ask for advice on how they grow them so yellow and pretty, and you can try the tip yourself.

Marla said...

I really love and appreciate your honesty. I can completely relate to this post. I believe when we are struggling with something it is a positive thing because then we have a chance to change for the better. It's when we stop paddling through the muck of life that we begin to sink and drowned.

Syd said...

Chris, I grew up surrounded by daffodils in Gloucester, Virginia which was a daffodil "capitol". It was where many were grown and shipped. I can remember running through the woods and still seeing the rows of daffodils that were coming up in the forest that were former farm fields.

Resentments and judging others are easy to do. It is trying to be like the lovely flower that is hard. I see its beauty and yet have a hard time seeing the beauty in others unless I really pause and look.

Susan said...

I'm always guilty of bad behavior. Shh..none of us will tell. Aren't flowers supposed to be food for the soul? Go feed yourself :) Of course, don't get caught doing it.

Monkey Man said...

I will never forget the time I found a stranger in my front yard cutting a rose out of my rose garden. I would have happily cut one for her had she asked, but this felt like a violation.

You have already worked through this, but if you aske, I bet they would share.

sarah said...

great post. love that flower and the lesson....smiling here. Sarah

Nessa said...

Oh, it's so much easier to focus on the other person's failings.

A New Old Fairy Tale

Tall Kay said...

People have come by and "stolen" my roses too. They actually bring scissors and cut them. I would gladly share if they asked...and have done that.

Listen to your gut...God's talking to you!
Great 5th step here!

Not The Rockefellers said...

stealing sunshine
and the spotlight
leaves you a little burned and peeling

what can you do to make things right and shed that old skin?

you must ask this of yourself :)

When my daughter was little she once denuded my neighbors tulip garden...about 30 tulips!
my kid was 3
I was mortified
and thankfully my neighbor was forgiving

Peace ~ Rene

Shoshana said...

Hey--I have no advice re the daffodils, but I want to thank you for such an honest and heartfelt post.

Hang in there!

Rayna M. Iyer said...

Practically everyone has said the same thing, but I'd still like to say it again.

I admire your honesty in admitting you 'steal' the flowers. But it would be so much better if you tell them you admire their flowers, and can you pick a few once in awhile. I am sure they would let you, and you can have the flowers without the guilt.

Akannie said...


I'm shocked!!!!!! (kidding)

What an opportunity for growth for you...and aren't we blessed to have a 9th step?????

Most folks are willing to share some of just about everything, if we just ask. Try it!

Love ya!!!

Susan said...

Great honesty and self awareness. And what a beautiful photograph! Thanks for your sincere post and reminder of keeping the focus on myself.

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

Maybe you can connect and exchange a few bulbs...then you can both enjoy what you don't have now...

Albert Einstein Quotes