Thursday, October 20, 2011

Don't touch my vegetables!

Be civil to all, sociable to many, familiar
with few, friend to one, enemy to none.
--Benjamin Franklin (1706—1790)
In recent months I described how the poor economy has increased the incidents of metal theft - stealing air conditioners, trash cans, etc. for their scrap metal value. End Bold thieves steal bridge in North Beaver, Pennsylvania.

Well here's a new sign of the times, Vegetable stealing! As reported by WLS radio of Indianapolis,
gardeners of the Grassroots Community Farm were nearly in tears over the latest insult. .... Who would steal their hard-won tomatoes right off the vine? Who cut the collard greens and swiped their sweet potatoes? ... it was the work of vegetable thieves who came equipped with shovels and plastic bags. ...
Indianapolis is not alone with stories of garden thievery. The New York Times reported recently that veggie thefts this summer that have disheartened gardeners in New York's network of more than 700 community plots.
Bottom Line

Think about the word Civilization. It begins with the word "Civil". When civility and respect are lost, then civilization too will be lost. Robert Heinlein in his novel Friday addresses this point,
Sick cultures show a complex of symptoms as you have named…  But a dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness. Bad manners. Lack of consideration for others in minor matters. A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than a riot.
This symptom is especially serious in that an individual displaying it never thinks of it as a sign of ill health but as proof of his/her strength.
I want to mention one of the obvious symptoms: Violence. Muggings. Sniping. Arson. Bombing. Terrorism of any sort. Riots of course – but I suspect that little incidents of violence, pecking way at people day after day, damage a culture even more than riots that flare up and then die down…

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