I have a handicapped permit; it comes in handy when I have to park far away from my destination. Last week I parked in a handicapped space, put the placard on my rearview mirror, and went to a meeting. When I returned 2 hours later it was gone

I had left the car open and somebody reached in and took it. Initially, I stood in wide-mouthed disbelief and then I got angry (not good for my heart which starts beating faster with any adrenaline rush, and leaves me short of breath), thinking how much lower can you go than stealing a handicapped persons parking permit.

Not everybody was as flabbergasted and outraged as I was. When I told my grandkids about it they thought it was funny, and my son the lawyer said “what did you expect, you left the car open, somebody saw it as a free pass at concert venues and crowded parking lots, and they know you can get it replaced”. I looked at him incredulously and said you wouldn’t do that and said he wouldn’t but assured me that lots of people would and find a way to justify it to themselves. 

Am I missing something here? It’s wrong to steal a handicapped persons disabled parking permit. Alas, in our culture what’s right and wrong is determined by what you can get away with. This is true at the highest levels of government, business, and is sadly becoming the common thread line that binds us together as a civilization. You can say/do/take whatever you want, because if you don’t somebody else will. 

When it comes to the point that where any means can justify your desired end then as a culture, we have subordinated morality to expediency; that’s pretty much where we are as a society at the moment. I understand that greed, violence, and exploitation have been with us since recorded history, but we have always had an understanding about shared values that inspire our humanity and remind us of the nobility of the human spirit.

One of the most important decisions one has to make in life, is what kind of society do you want to help create. How are we going to raise the bar for acceptable behaviors instead of continuing to find ways to lower it? We must have some sort of moral contract that reminds us of our best selves.

This is an old story, and one that hasn’t been improved upon; do onto others as you want them to do to you; respect everything and everyone that walks alongside you on this earth; remember there is an end to this life and we will not be taking anything with us,_the really important things are those we leave behind.

Tell this story around the family dinner table, at tribal gatherings, in Courts, and legislatures, and let us live it in our daily lives.  We must continue to make our voices heard because if we cannot learn how to behave in society, we will all become handicapped.