Monday, May 04, 2009

Bike Stolen

Well, another setback. Some jerk stole my bike (same jerk perhaps?) This time though, I'm a lot angrier and pissed off about the whole thing. Came outside this afternoon to go for a ride to the local track to get some running in and found the lock cut through and the bike (surprise, surprise) conspicuously absent.

This, after hardly been a week since someone entered my home while I was sleeping and took money from my wallet. While I'm angry about the crime now, whereas I was disappointed before, I'm still even more angry at myself about the whole thing. A friend expressed condolences about being robbed of my money a few weeks ago (something I'd never experienced) specifically citing how violating it feels.

Strangely though, I don't feel violated at all. I feel like its a personal failure on my own part. Have I failed to correctly judge the character of the people and the neighborhood around me? Am I simply too trusting a person and making naive mistakes that should have been avoided in the first place? This whole mess with crime has got me questioning my own efficacy, whereas I SHOULD be angry at the perpetrator committing these crimes.

Its has been clear to me for awhile that I both grew up in an extremely sheltered environment (the burbs), and spent my formative years in places where I was either extremely lucky or places with little to no petty crime at all (Japan & Kuwait). But while I never really came to grips with my sheltered upbringing until I started seeing the world, I never considered myself a dunce before. Should I?

I could outsmart pickpockets with the stickiest of fingers in Rome and Cairo, but in less than a month I seem to have become the quare dunce who's little more than a white toilet seat for petty crooks. The luxury of my own guileless naivete is obviously something that doesn't exist for me here in Changwon. This is of course somewhat ironic, as one of the things I like about living in other countries is the perception of relative safety and the lack of crime compared to my own country.

Without going into technical details (as I wouldn't want to provide criminals with specific data with which they could counter measures I'm now taking) I'm clearly going to have to develop a whole new set of habits and invest in some (potentially expensive) anti-theft devices. Some of these new habits are going to be somewhat inconvenient (perhaps even very inconvenient). I'm going to have to develop and keep these habits consistently every day. Perhaps some insurance would be in order. Moreover, my bike was quite nice, so perhaps I need to rethink whether I should even own nice things around here.

Mostly, these are things I know I should do (like bring my bike into the house at night lest someone cut the cable) but seem to have grown careless about as I indulged my own delusions of safety and security.

Further exacerbating this feeling of incompetence is its perceived relation to another interpersonal problem I'm dealing with at the moment (one I probably won't describe here). I feel I've struggled my whole life with interpersonal relationships. Every time I feel I've been kind, trusting, generous, and forgiving with others, I feel I get walked on like a doormat. The only way I almost ever seem to feel people respect me (or at least treat me decently) is when I'm guarded, cold, overly assertive. In essence, I feel like I don't have the social skills to function in the world without being a bitter, overly guarded, self centered asshole.

And then almost every time I try to be trusting, kind or live life in a positive way someone takes advantage of me. I'm not sure that makes much sense to any but a few people I've ever talked to about this matter, and perhaps this is something that requires more introspection on my part. I don't know that I can express it all properly here, but this is just adding more evidence to the assertion that nice guys finish last (something I believe, and a thesis I'll defend in a later post).
But I hope it isn't hard to see the parallels between these two struggles, whether it be dealing with criminals here or dealing with other people.


sethholler said...

Dude, sorry to hear about your bike. Mine was stolen in August, on campus.

Re: the other problem, I don't think you are so entirely lacking in social graces. But you're right about nice guys finishing last (usually).

Tyler Beal said...

haha. Thanks. I suppose I shouldn't wallow too much in self pity as others deal with the same things everyday and things could be much worse.

But I've got half a mind to write a piece about nice guys finishing last. Definitely give me your thoughts on the subject as well.

Kathy Hanson said...

I think it takes a certain amount of courage to react to people with kindness, knowing they may not return the favor.

But I'm really sorry to hear about your bike.