Sunday, January 15, 2012

The key to un-Locke

The other day a friend and I went to eat right before we went to a class that was 2 buildings away.  When we were walking between the buildings, my Iphone slipped out of my pocket.  I didn't notice.  When we got to class the first thing I looked for was my phone because I wanted to put it on silent.  But as soon as we got there I realized it was missing.  I then quickly retraced all my steps back to the dining hall, but couldn't find it anywhere.  All throughout class I was upset.

After class we tried calling my phone.  No answer.  Tried again.  No answer.  Then I realized that earlier in October my younger brother had made me get a tracking device for my Iphone.  At the time I was annoyed (especially when I realized that him and my mom would stalk me going up or down I35), but when I remembered that I had a tracker on my IPhone, I wasn't annoyed anymore.

Long story short, my brother tracked my phone and we realized that it had been taken.  The guy was all over Waco, and eventually settled down at the SLC (workout building), so we thought he may have dropped it off there.  I started to head there after a Sing meeting when my mom texted me on another friend's phone.  She said that the phone was now on the move and gave me a number to call the cops.  My friend I was with suggested I try to call my phone one more time.  I did and to my surprise someone answered. He said that he had found my phone and was waiting for someone to call it so he could return it.  My friend came with me and we met the guy behind the religion and history building, and got my phone back!

But here's what I think really happened:  

The guy was going to steal it, and so he didn't answer when it rang the first several times (remember when he said that he was waiting for someone to call it? there were 7 missed calls during that time).  Then my mom and brother started tracking my phone.  My brother set off an alarm through the tracking app that made a really loud noise and put a urgent message on the screen.  I think that's the point when the guy realized he was being tracked and decided to give it back when it called again.  When my mom told me to call the police, she was wanting me to give them my permission to track the guy down.  They were going to get on the phone with my brother on the tracking app to figure out where this guy was.

This is where my brain starts to wonder what was going on in his head.  The age old question of, "Are people inherently good?" comes to mind.  Are they?  This is something I'd like to believe.... but are people really this way?  Or are people inherently bad?  Are they born good and then corrupted?  or born bad and then become good over time?

I really like the think that I think the first.  The John Locke answer.  I like to think that all people generally have a good moral basis and will do the right thing without there being a consequence.  But I think my opinion on this has changed somewhat.

I'm not saying that I think we're bad, but the issue of good vs. evil is a lot more complicated that just what meets the eye.  It's a complicated situation that has eaten away at people for centuries.  When I look at a baby, I think of innocence and tranquility, but when I hear of serial killers, I think that they must have been a little messed up in the head to have the lack of emotion and care to do such a thing.  This then brings up the nature vs. nurture argument that is probably more relevant than the good vs. evil thing in this sort of situation.

I'm starting to think that maybe most people are born "good", but then over time, as life, culture, love and heartbreak happen, people change.  Some people are brain washed into believing something negative they'd die for.  Some people may feel like they are predestined to an outcome, or a social stereotype, so they end up fitting into that roles without thinking.  All situations differ, but I think that most people deep down know the right thing to do... at least at the most simple concepts: stealing is wrong, murder is wrong... common sense if you will.

So I feel fine about letting the guy go, because maybe he learned a lesson of some sort.  Maybe he wasn't even intending on stealing it, I was wrong and he was indeed trying to give it back.  I'll never know.  It doesn't matter.  All I know is that he is God's child and no matter what his intentions were, I am to love him and forgive him.  After all, it is just a phone.

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