To Have and Have Not

26 Apr

“Them that’s got shall get. Them that’s not shall lose. So the Bible said and it still is news…”

I remember trick or treating many years ago when my friends and I came to a house where no one was home. We were about to leave and head for the next house when we noticed a large bowl on the stoop filled with candy and a note on it that read, “Please take one.”

Wow, we thought, that’s not only nice but very trusting also. Back in those days candy bars were really candy bars, not the little pieces of bite sized goop that they are now, and Halloween was the only time we kids could get our hands on real candy because parents did not buy kids candy, sweets, chips or any other kind of sugary snacks unless they had a reason like it was your birthday…or it was your birthday again….so leaving a giant bowl of candy out for anyone to haul away in what would have been the biggest heist of the century (for kids) was taking quite a chance.

But even though we were just kids we understood the sentiment, thoughtfulness, implications and expectations of all that candy left at an empty house with a note on Halloween…and we each took one and were happy to go on our way…as did everyone else in the neighborhood on that all Hallows Eve.

“You can help yourself…But don’t take too much…”

Is that sentiment still alive in today’s world? I would like to think so. I know that it still is for many…especially in light of some of the disasters that have befallen the East coast in the last few months… but when I look around at financial and banking institutions, Wall street, many large corporations and even our own leaders in Congress I am beginning to think that in many respects we may have turned the corner as of late, and anyone who takes just their fair share out of that big bowl of candy these days and leaves some for everyone else would be left for a chump….while some enterprising citizen who absconded with the entire contents of that bowl and set up shop selling them on a corner somewhere would be hailed as a forward thinking entrepreneur.

I hope I’m wrong and it’s just my advanced age talking.

 What do you think? Would that bowl of candy still be safe in your neighborhood?

“God bless the child that’s got his own…”

19 Responses to “To Have and Have Not”

  1. hoboduke April 26, 2013 at 3:38 am #

    Some of my more creative buddies trick or treated fancy apartment buildings in Chicago. They did it becuase they didn’t expect any trick or treaters, and instead of candy pulled out dollar bills to send them on their way. This was during the time when a quarter got you buble gum, popsicles, and a candy bar.

  2. Rivka And Her Wit April 26, 2013 at 4:11 am #

    The candy bowl would, indeed, be safe in my neighborhood today…only because my son is now too old to trick-or-treat! 😉

  3. ontyrepassages April 26, 2013 at 4:31 am #

    Greed cannot be trusted. Greed does not share. The media exploits our greed while we send men and women to Congress to represent our greed. And then we wonder why they all “have” and we still “have not.” We are the crucial link in a chain that grows stronger until we choose to break it. All we have to do is be thankful for what we have. These days neither the candy nor the bowl are safe.

  4. Nadeen Chrystal Davis April 26, 2013 at 5:29 am #

    I feel that it has turned into a culture of “self”. You feel that you never have enough, never satisfied. On the other hand, if you don’t look out for yourself, who will? It’s sad… There are always some good people out there. At times, a good person can be come opportunistic. Who you really are is what you do when no one else is looking? Do you take one or take the bowl? That is the question.

  5. tric April 26, 2013 at 8:22 am #

    I like to believe in the inherent goodness that is in most people. I work with many children and teenagers and they are fantastic. Of course some will take what is not due, but they are still in the minority. We will never loose those from society but I am happy believing the majority are honest.

  6. charlypriest April 26, 2013 at 11:49 am #

    I guess whoever put on the bowl with the candy made an investment $, why? maybe because they have enough $ to live comfortably and that investment is something to give back not having to struggle with $. The fair share is some lame name for being an idiot, eating the candy and then expecting more out of that same house,always returning to the same house without any progress in their life, without trying to advance to another house or maybe advance to the point where they themselves can put a bowl in their house not with candy but now with `super candy´,without innovation and constant learning we perish as individuals and as a society. Greed is a good motivator to make $, travel with family,help your friend, community the world. The word GREED has bad connotation, because people usually take it to mean that a `greedy´ person is bad. If greed is in the right hands it means more free candy in the bowl for the kids.

  7. Dan Hennessy April 26, 2013 at 1:36 pm #

    I believe in the goodness of most people —– but big business is a different animal . I don’t think that business greed is anything new . That’s why the government has periodically regulated business . ” Business ” has no conscience .

  8. drshyamalavatsa April 26, 2013 at 2:31 pm #

    I didn’t know what to think simply because I wanted to believe that present-day kids would also take a candy each, like you all did. I asked my 15-year-old what she thought. She wished kids were still like in your story, but no, now every kid would try to grab as many as he could, and making off with the bowl may even be considered ‘cool’ by some!

  9. TamrahJo April 26, 2013 at 3:03 pm #

    Candy bowls are safe – retirement pensions, social security, stock options in companies that produce tangible and needed goods/services, home equity and insurance plans are not…

  10. Ronnie Ann April 26, 2013 at 3:42 pm #

    TamrahJo took the words right out of my mouth! Also, probably don’t leave an iPhone 5 out with the candy.

  11. avwalters April 26, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

    Here on the farm, the candy would be in the bowl for everyone. And, having just recently volunteered to remodel some senior’s homes, I like to think that that crew of volunteers that showed up, hammers in hand, are representative of our better inner selves. At least with the regular people, the social compact is still intact. I can’t speak for bankers and brokers.

  12. funnyphilosopher April 26, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

    I came of age in the 80s and 90s in a small town, and we routinely left the doors unlocked, keys in the ignition, etc. Now I live in Baltimore. Is there any term more drastic than “Complete 180?”

  13. mvschulze April 26, 2013 at 5:38 pm #

    The larger the population (the neighborhood) the more likely demographic percentages will kick in, and someone will take the candy. In such cases today, the homeowner might choose to have a security camera in place. It’s the way it is. It’s deep seeded human nature.

  14. sheilamariegrimes April 26, 2013 at 5:51 pm #

    I want to think people would only take one, but unfortunately, that’s not the times we live in.. I don’t fool myself. But …I’m idealistic enough to HOPE THEY DO!

  15. emmylgant April 26, 2013 at 8:42 pm #

    The candy bowl may not be safe in my neighborhood, but it ‘s not my job to check on what others do. Stopping the greed starts here; bucking the trend of compulsive consumption starts with me. I won’t shop at Walmart although their prices are cheaper… I may be a chum, but guess what? I don’t care.

  16. risinghawk April 27, 2013 at 3:38 am #

    First, good and thoughtful post! I would like to think that people would honor the sentiment – but maybe I’m just being idealistic. There is less-and-less evidence to support the notion that young people won’t “grab and run.” Of course, that is a stereotype – a more damnable offense than taking more than “one’s share” of candy. Nevertheless, I sense an aura of entitlement among the youth of this country that is unsettling. I hold out hope that it will turn from that.

  17. Leslie Jo April 27, 2013 at 4:45 am #

    I think, for the most part, the kids in our neighborhood would be respectful and not take all of the candy. Thanks for liking my blog!

  18. fjpeter1961 April 27, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

    Thanks for the post, friend of the world. Despite so many temptations to be otherwise, I choose integrity. Does this make me naive or uncommonly wise? I don’t know. But I am not alone. High fives to all my fellow “chumps” out there. The world needs us. Stay the course. Peace.

  19. stevehi April 27, 2013 at 5:09 pm #

    I’m gonna get mine first , that’s mind set that is encouraged today . People are fearful and discouraged by leadership today . That is understandable considering the state of our economy in this country . People are encouraged to depend on promises from a system that is corrupt and derives it’s power by encouraging people to be dependent on a broken system .

    I look at this world today and find it difficult to believe that people are inherently good . Traits like kindness , honesty , integrity are learned and I don’t see these things being taught or encouraged in the public venue . The idea that you can take from one to give to another I believe weakens the work ethic , destroys the individuals feeling of self worth . It’s the idea that people are told they aren’t capable of taking care of themselves . Should we replace all religion with a new God that’s fair and equal , The government , the new God ?

    I find it troubling when I hear people say it’s Okay to take from the rich to give to the poor and then support politicians who are bought and sold by the very same people , Bankers , the very rich that really control our lives through the political hacks that run on these platforms of empty promises and lies . I believe this applies to both political parties .

    I still have hope and believe that the majority of people know the difference between right and wrong . There are still people that believe in the Golden Rules even when the temptation to take something that they shouldn’t is always there . It’s not hard knowing right from wrong . The hard part is doing what’s right .

    I think you’d hard pressed to find a full bowl of candy left unattended anywhere these days . I think you might end up like Diogenes wandering the streets with a lamp looking for an honest man . He never found one . Good luck to you .

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