It is such a natural norm of conduct that no formal education is needed to be aware of it. It is an elementary mandate of behavior that no professional degree is required to know it. It is in fact a basic and universal rule of conduct that applies to all people – irrespective of their race, color and creed. It is even engraved in the mind and imprinted in the heart of man that only the brainless and/or the heartless might not know it and/or not feel it. The truth is that it is definitely and distinctly necessary that Divinity made it downright Commandment – to the extent that it is improper, wrong and unfair even but to covet, to desire or to claim what belongs to others (Ex. 20:17). In other words, not to steal is an injunction of Divine Law affirmed by human law for observance in human society.
Question: Why do some people steal? When the poor, when the destitute, when the helpless steal, they do it because they want to go on living which is their right. They steal because they have no other way of having food to eat, clothes to wear. This is still wrong but understandable, unfair but easily forgivable. No, they are neither holy nor saintly. But they are victims first before they become victimizers. This phenomenon is basically caused by a do-not-care society and/or a practically good-for-nothing government.
Question: Why do certain already rich individuals steal? This is because of downright irrational greed, due to censurable covetousness. They already have so much but continuously feel that they should have much and much more still. They are a downright shame to others who sweat and toil for the little they have. They are also a big danger to society. They are the direct or indirect cause of social disorder or unrest if not downright rebellion. This is the truth. This is the lesson of history.
Question: Why do these and those wealthy and powerful public officials steal? They are injustice incarnate. They are vicious characters. They are living social liabilities to peace, order and development. They have minds that no longer think straight. They have hearts that are already numb to what is right or wrong. They have conscience that is in effect dysfunctional. These are now some of the realities that make people go to the streets that lead them to big protests that demand for a change in their government officials – if not the government itself.
It is so hard to be honest and straight – “Do not steal.” – specially on the part of those who have more than enough, who have too much in fact, who in effect do not even know where to place and/or hide their wealth for safe keeping?