Faith in humanity seems to be slipping away
When I got into my cherry cobbler car Monday morning, I was going to work, to gain some writing experience and make some money to pay for groceries, gas, housing and the occasional lunch date with Boyfriend or movie night with the gang.
When I got into my cherry cobbler car Monday morning, it had been robbed.
After calling the two people who wouldn't hesitate to dig through my glove box to borrow a CD and finding they knew nothing of my missing items, it slowly and stunningly sunk in: somebody who doesn't know me -- who doesn't know I have student loan debt wracking up, or that I can't remember my natural hair color, or that most of my favorite memories involve Jones soda and a car-full of teenage girls -- decided to enter my car and take things that belong to me.
For whatever reason, someone who doesn't know me felt the need to take the Zen my parents gave me for Christmas because they knew I'd never be content carrying an iPod like everybody and their moms' step-uncles thrice removed.
Don't ask me why, but someone I don't know wanted my CD player and 20-some CDs detailing my life from my Spice Girls "girl power!" adolescence to when Regina Spektor started narrating my days with her lyrics, and found that reason enough to take them.
Someone I may never speak to felt justified to make a choice to leave the many Minnesota maps I carry because I can't remember if I want I-94 E or W, the desolate ear buds for my AWOL Zen, and a box of plastic forks from when Jake and I really needed carrot cake, but to take the big black flashlight heavy-duty enough to double as a billy club if need be that my parents got for my car because they wanted me to be safe.
This isn't an angered "why me?" tirade; I know "why me." My stuff was stolen because, for whoever took it, there's no differentiation between mine and any other unlocked vehicle with electronics.
I'm not sobbing over irreplaceable items. Thanks to the digital age, all the music lost is in my laptop, CD players are obsolete enough to be replaced with minimal cost if they even warrant replacement, and a new Zen could be shipped by the end of the workday.
Although I could blame myself for letting a residential DL neighborhood be the one place I never felt a need to lock my car, that's not why I'm upset, either.
Monday morning took another notch out of my faith in humanity, and sometimes I wonder if there's enough left for it to stand.
When a company turns a tragic accident into an expensive blame game that has our country railing against a president trying to work through an anything-but-easy situation, refusing to adequately 'fess up and fix what's been broken, it chips off a chunk of my conviction that people are basically good.
When politicians allow speaking with an accent to become reason enough for throwing someone in jail, I wonder whether my trust is misplaced.
When girls I know are cheated on by the boyfriends they gave second chances, or return from a date with a black eye, or don't realize they're being used, it's harder to stay hopeful.
I don't want to believe this is indicative of what we've become. But, sadly, it often seems America has left integrity behind for the sort of initiative that encourages us to take instead of earn, ignoring consequences and tossing others' rights aside.
Still, I hope for my faith to be bolstered.
When the state rallied to help mend Wadena and other tornado-torn areas, I saw a glimmer of goodness peak through.
When a friend with a sincere desire to help asked me to donate to her Relay for Life funds, I felt that rare warmth.
When I get a spontaneously sweet text from a pal showing she's thinking about me or that he cares about something outside his line of vision, it's easier to believe there's something better in us.
But maybe I'm naïve. After all, I didn't think I needed to lock the car door.
Thressa Johnson graduated from Detroit Lakes High School and attends Hamline University in St. Paul.