My bike was stolen today. The general consensus is that I didn't lock it up properly and shame on me because I should know better - I live in Venice Beach, after all. Indeed, I do, and maybe this is a first world problem because there are far worse things happening to other people (I went to the National Geographic 125 Year Anniversary Photography Exhibit at the Annenberg Space for Photography in LA, which I recommend: it is moving and emotional - especially the photos about Congo).
The bike theft is annoying and leaves a sour taste in my mouth about people - the behaviour, lack of accountability, lack of consideration, selfishness and general nastiness that is rampant. And yes, the expense of replacing the bike isn't a pleasantry either.
It's moments like these where I lose a little faith in people, despite my best efforts to be compassionate and improve my own qualities through mindfulness, meditation and positive thinking. The bike incident comes hot off the heels of a stressful situation with the Lexus dealership in Santa Monica, which finally settled over the weekend. Again, is it my fault for trusting people? For trusting a car salesman? Perhaps. Perhaps I'm too similar to Paul Rudd's character in My Idiot Brother. I would genuinely like to believe that people are inherently good.
When the salesman nearly succeeds at pulling off what is defined as consumer fraud and misrepresentation, and only because Andrew and I were so obstinate and dug our heels in as a matter of principle over an extra $25 a month payment, I feel sad and heavier of spirit. Not for the the $25 a month; for the sense of violation I feel - violation of my trust and my goodwill. For what?! For the sales targets; for personal gain; for ego and pride.
The common denominator in all these scenarios is human decency, which is lacking and going extinct as quickly as some of the animals on this planet.
I hate being lied to, taken advantage of, and mostly, I hate having to be the one who must adjust my behaviour and way of life to protect myself from those who would harm me! That's backwards. I should not have to live in worry, fear, and doubt, watching over my shoulder, questioning intent and reading between the lines of what people say, just to make sure I am not a victim of someone's conscious abuse of my goodwill. I will not let these incidents affect me for long; I will not keep the negative energy around me and I will learn to be more discerning while trying to retain a sense of hope that there is more good than bad - and that I will find a good deal on a bike.