Yesterday morning I opened my post with this line,
Like most folks, I have my share of pet peeves.
Well, here are two more of my pet peeves: liars and thieves.
I use a number of different methods for tracking traffic to this site. As a result, I’m able to get an idea of where the majority of my readership comes from geographically, which posts are being read, and so on. Also, I’m able to "see" if a person has visited the sight more than once and how long their visit lasted.
Over the weekend, I’ve been tracking four specific readers: two from Maryland; one from Virginia; and one from Texas. Between the four, they’ve spent a collective total in excess of 100 hours methodically "trolling" through my posts.
Whenever I notice that someone is reading post after post, I "label" them so that I can more clearly track their movements on the site. And, because I can "see" what city they’re logging in from, I can also do some checking. In this case, all four readers are in cities which have two or more colleges or universities.
To date, I’ve been plagiarized by 6 college/students. Now it appears that I’m being plagiarized by 4 more. After I do a bit more checking I’ll know for certain if this is indeed the case.
In my opinion, all of these individuals are nothing more than common liars and thieves. They are taking what I’ve written and trying to pass it off as their own work in order to get a passing grade. Liars and thieves. But more than that, they are just plain lazy.
What makes it worse is that, since they obviously have access to the Internet, they also have access to the same hard data regarding homelessness that I do. But they are not availing themselves of it. Instead, they are stealing my writings.
The thing that irritates me about all of this is that most folks couldn’t care less. It doesn’t seem to faze anyone that these students – who will one day become the backbone of our nation – are behaving in such an unseemly and immoral manner. In fact, most folks are probably just shrugging their shoulders with a "oh well" attitude. And, that is something I find more than just a bit disturbing.
How is that we are willing to "forgive" this type of misbehavior? How is it that we’ll even go so far as to find ways of justifying these types of actions?
Yet, let some poor soul walk up to us and ask for some spare change, or stand on a corner somewhere holding a cardboard sign and we get all up in arms over that. We’ll look at that homeless person with disgust and disdain. We’ll look down on them, saying that they should stop being lazy and go out and find a job.
All of it proves that we are being prejudicial. We are living our lives using double standards. And, all for what reason?
Are we that willing to forgive whatever anyone does – so long as they aren’t homeless? We do the same thing with those films stars that we idolize. Time and time again, we read in the news how this actor or that actress has become involved in some immoral behavior, yet we’re willing to forgive and give them as many chances as are required so that they might have the opportunity to redeem themselves.
Contrast that with our seemingly inability to forgive a homeless person for being homeless. And why? Is it because the homeless don’t "look" worthy of our compassion? Is it because we don’t see the homeless as being human beings? Is it because we actually believe all of the misconceptions and stereotypes about homelessness despite the mountains of data which disproves what we believe we know about homelessness?
Or is it something simpler? Could it be that by looking down on the homeless it makes us feel somehow superior? Could it be that by being prejudiced toward the homeless that it feeds our desire to feel important?
Our nation’s homeless are people.
Some of them aren’t the nicest of individuals. Some of them choose to be homeless. Some of them are indeed drunks, drug addicts and derelicts. And yes, some of them are just too plain lazy to do something with their lives.
On the other hand, the majority of America’s homeless are folks just like you and me. They have hopes and dreams for a better future. They are homeless for a myriad of reasons. Some of them – like the nation’s 1.35 million homeless children – have become homeless as an indirect consequence of someone else’s action or inactions. Others, like our nation’s homeless seniors, have become homeless because they’re living on a fixed income and can no longer afford housing.
The list goes on.
The reality is this: every last one of us is a flawed human being.
And, just because a person is a "housed" member of the community, doesn’t necessarily make them a "fine upstanding" citizen…
… some of them – like those students who have already taken what I’ve written and have passed it off as their own (including those who are about to do the same thing) – are nothing more than common liars and thieves.
No wonder there are some of homeless who want absolutely nothing to do with the rest of society.