by Randall Allen Dunn
Most people love the concept of Robin Hood. Someone who steals from the rich and gives to the poor.
They love it because they don’t consider themselves rich. We tend to think of rich people as those who have immensely more wealth or possessions than we have. Meanwhile, other people who have lost their homes, lost their jobs, or struggle to find enough food to keep their children from starving, would consider us to be the rich ones.
The truth is most of us still have enough to get by. Of course, we would all love to have a better income or a huge windfall to make things easier. We would love to have enough to pay off all our debts and still have enough to buy a nicer car or a nicer house and take a memorable vacation over the summer.
But when we can’t afford to do those things – or can’t afford to do them anytime soon – we start to envy those wealthy people who can afford such luxuries. Those people who don’t have to live paycheck to paycheck or seek a second job. Those people who don’t have to limit their kids to the schools that they can afford. Those people who don’t have to worry about rising insurance or utility rates, rising gas prices, or rising mortgage or rent payments. We start to wonder how we can get some of that money for ourselves. By winning the lottery, winning “American Idol”, or earning a huge tax break.
Then we start resenting the rich, wondering why they should have so much of what we want, when we have so little of it.
We would never call it jealousy. We simply say it’s not fair. We say those rich people don’t deserve to be rich, especially when we’re so poor.
No one considers that if they got all the things they keep wishing for – to get some of that pie for themselves – they would become one of those “undeserving” billionaires they always loathed before. How can it be all right for a poor person to become an overnight billionaire, through little or no genuine effort on their part, if it’s not all right for a billionaire to be a billionaire?
In the film, “The Dark Knight Rises”, superhero Batman (Christian Bale) has quietly retired amid a storm of controversy, after taking the blame for several murders. Murders that were actually committed by celebrated District Attorney Harvey Dent, who went insane after suffering a horrible accident that marred his face. Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) agreed to hide the truth in order to preserve Dent’s heroic reputation, and also to enforce Dent’s policies that helped eradicate organized crime from Gotham City.
Eight years later, a dangerous mercenary named Bane (Tom Hardy) invades Gotham and organizes an army to take control of it. He forges billionaire Bruce (Batman)Wayne’s fingerprints to bankrupt him, then sets off multiple bombs throughout the city. He addresses a crowd of citizens to inform them he will kill anyone who tries to leave Gotham or summon outside help. But he explains he is giving the city to them, having taken it from the corrupt wealthy citizens who had been running it.
To prove his claims, he reveals Commissioner Gordon’s agreement to the conspiracy about Harvey Dent, in order to pass the Dent Act that helped incarcerate several dangerous criminals. He insists that Gordon’s corruption in allowing this demonstrates that the criminals should never have been imprisoned, so he frees them. Those same criminals then drag wealthy citizens from their homes and hold a kangaroo court to sentence them to death for their “crimes”.
Meanwhile, the rest of the citizens – criminals and hostages alike – are free to take possession of the billionaires’ homes. Cat burglar Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) has been longing for this moment, to take charge of the wealth and luxury that those billionaires have kept locked away to themselves. But in order to possess it, she had to betray Batman’s trust, letting him be captured and beaten half to death by Bane. Now that she finally has what she wanted, she realizes that this is not the way she wanted to obtain it.
Walking through a trashed house, from which its rich owners had been “evicted” by Bane’s mob, she finds a broken picture of a family. A father, a mother, and their children. She tells her partner-in-crime, “This was someone’s home.”
Her friend replies, “And now it belongs to everyone. Isn’t that what you wanted?”
The family in the picture is made of human beings, just like Selina and her accomplice. The only difference is that the people in the picture are rich, and Selina is one of the thieves stealing from them.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting something more. A bigger house, fancier clothes, a fatter paycheck. But when we want something that belongs to someone else, we’re on a dangerous path that starts with envy and ends with theft.
It’s easy to justify stealing something from people that we think can afford such losses. Or from someone that – in our opinion – doesn’t deserve to have such things.
But it’s no crime to be rich, any more than it’s a crime to be poor.
Stealing, however, is still a crime.
No matter who you’re stealing from.
Find more reviews of “The Dark Knight Rises” at amazon.com!
Lester Auger finally found a way to purchase the car of his dreams. He should be careful what he wants …
Lester Auger can’t wait to get his hands on the wheel of a silver Bentley. And he doesn’t. With his success in jewelry store commissions, he can afford to take out a loan from Rico Torriani, a notorious figure with the means to help Lester realize his dreams right away. It’s perfectly safe … until Lester falls behind on his payments. Now Lester’s driven to do something desperate. All he has to do is cover his tracks and trust Mister Torriani to give him a little more time …
Thursday, January 10th, 2013