Saturday, October 08, 2011

Thanksgiving: Give & Take

Garneau, Edmonton (Photos by Yewco)
This weekend is Thanksgiving in Canada and it's got me thinking about the nature of giving and taking. Giving requires someone or something to be on the take and that's been me more often than not. I suspect it's not that much different for most others. Miranda July has a great piece on the New Yorker website about shoplifting, the ultimate "take" in a capitalist society:
"I discovered that stealing required a loose, casual energy, a sort of oneness with the environment, like surfing or horse-whispering. And once I knew I could do it I felt strangely obliged to. I remember feeling guilty for not stealing, as though I were wasting money."
That's a true sense of entitlement if there ever was one - the feeling that you're obliged to a rip off despite who or what may be on the other end. It's the feeling that has enabled Wall Street to run the U.S. economy into the ground - capitalism in its purest manifestation.

I went through a phase many moons ago around this time in the fall when I was careless enough to think I could steal and get away with it. I was on my paper route when I got the bright idea of stealing car ornaments like the "VW" and "BMW" logos. Luckily, I was caught by my manager who refrained from calling the cops or even firing me. I had to return everything and soon learned to curb my enthusiasms (not really) and be thankful for small mercies.

A little give & take, Astotin Lake, Elk Island Park, Alberta

No comments:

Post a Comment