We often think of the misery that sins like stealing cause other people, and understandably so. Nothing materially and psychologically damages people quite like the experience of malice from another human being. However, wherever thievery is present, there is no one more miserable than the thieves themselves.
I recall an interview Jordan Belfort, the real life Wolf of Wall Street. He said that part of his misery (and those of other “successful” celebrities in his line of work), came from him not producing anything creative of his own. Belfort was a stock-broker, and made money off fluctuations in the market price of companies (and other illegal activities).
Belfort worked extremely hard, but the fact that he wasn’t meeting his psychological need to create made him miserable. Imagine how miserable someone is who neither creates, nor works hard, nor has any skin in the game!
Thieves are not only immoral, they are ignorant of their own psychology. Their actions serve to immiserate both themselves and others.
There is a reason why “Thou Shall Not Steal” is one of the Ten Commandments. There are “win-wins” in life, and there are situations where everybody loses. Stealing belongs to the second category.
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