One of the five Buddhist precepts is “Do not take anything not freely given”. The same commandment appears as “Do not steal” in the Hebrew Bible (Exodus 20:15 and Leviticus 19:11) and the Western religions that grew from it. One way of thinking about that commandment is to realize that taking what is rightfully in one person’s domain is theft unless done with that person’s explicit permission.
Showing love means to avoid hurting another if at all possible. One way in which a person can hurt another is to transgress their “boundaries” — that is, violate what should be in their domain, protected by their autonomy.
What can be stolen
How stealing can happen
Failing to ask. The easiest way to avoid stealing is simply to ask. Would you like...? Do you want...? May I...? I would like.... is that okay with you? You get the idea.
Why one might steal from a loved one
Have you had a loved one steal from you? How did that feel? How did you respond? What was the impact on the relationship? Have you stolen from a loved one? What motivated you? Were you able to repair the transgression?
Copyright 2017 Roni Beth Tower
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