Imagine four young women sharing an off-campus apartment while they attend the local university. They are entitled to live with a sense of security. All four go to college full time and all four hold down jobs either to help pay their bills, or in some cases to pay all their bills.
Imagine the sense of pride they have in living on their own and the fun they have as a group of good friends who didn't even know each other 3 years ago. They are entitled to enjoy their youth and reap the rewards of working hard at school and in their jobs.
Imagine two of those girls working on a Saturday night when most college kids are kicking back and relaxing. Imagine another one visiting with her father to attend a family celebration in another city. Imagine the fourth going out to enjoy a relaxing evening with her boyfriend before she has to get up early to make her shift at work on Sunday morning. All four should be entitled to a sense of peace and trust that when they leave their apartment, nothing will be disturbed, ruined or destroyed.
Imagine one of the roommates returning home after a long day of work, entering her apartment and finding the backdoor broken into, each room ransacked and many things missing. Imagine how she felt that those who had done this might not be gone and imagine how she ran back out and called the police and waited for them in her car, scared for 45 long minutes. She was entitled to that fear, but never should have had to experience it.
Imagine the girl still at work receiving a panicked call from her roomie saying their apartment had been broken into and that all their rooms had been ransacked and things had been taken. Imagine the girl and her boyfriend rushing home in panic. Imagine the out-of-town girl's sense of helplessness as she listened to the details unfold through many phone calls.
Imagine them making lists of things that were taken from their personal space, things they had worked hard to pay for, or things that simply had sentimental value, but not necessarily any great worth to anyone else. They would be entitled to feel angry and upset.
Imagine the police going over their once safe haven, with dust for fingerprints and then leaving behind the smudges and dirt as stark reminders of what had happened. Imagine the ringing silence that must have existed when the police finally left, saying they couldn't pull any fingerprints, but they would be in touch. The young women would be entitled to feel frustrated, then scared as they prepared for what was sure to be a sleepless night.
Imagine your phone ringing after midnight and it's your daughter telling you that her apartment had been broken into and that a lot of valuable electronics, musical instruments, jewelry and keepsakes had been taken. Imagine your relief that everyone was okay and not home at the time of the invasion. You would be entitled to feel first fear, then gratitude and yearn that some justice may be served
Imagine the lessons the young women have learned. Be more careful about securing sliding doors. Get an alarm system. Trust no one. Someone may be watching your daily habits. Work hard for your money and the tools you need to be productive and successful in school, but someone else who doesn't feel like working hard, but wants that money or those things feels like they are entitled to them.
They feel that they are entitled to break into your personal space, take what they want, destroy and trash the place for fun and then leave you feeling like the world is an ugly place. And will these entitled individuals ever learn any lessons themselves, even if they are caught?
I like to imagine they will. Learn something, that is. Somewhere down the line, they will learn.
In the meantime, two of the four roommates went back to work today and will return and start to clean up the mess the entitled ones left behind. The out-of-town roommate will return and it will be a new shock for her to adjust to. And the fourth roommate will sit in the apartment with her boyfriend for company and wait until they can all be together and feel safe again.
Of course the ultimate lesson is that things can be replaced, but people, especially good friends, cannot. Things will get back to normal, they will improve their security systems, they will have more good times together in their shared space and they will move into adulthood as productive contributors to our society. Two social workers, a businesswoman and a medical professional.
Thanks for indulging my much needed, unprecedented rant on my blogspace. It's good to feel that I can do that once in awhile on here.