When I moved back to the house in which I rented a room during my high school years, I discovered a cable behind the dresser. Out of curiosity, I connected it to my TV. For some reason, the previous tenant had left without canceling his subscription.
For the first three months of 1976, I enjoyed the clear reception of local and American TV channels. Gone were the ghosts and distortions I endured from the three local English language stations. I had my pick of so many wonderful channels as well. My conscience quieted down as I patted myself on the back for being so clever.
The cable company staff weren’t fooling on the first of April. I switched on the TV and found nothing but snow on all channels. I felt sad, though I suspected that would happen. For the next few years, I made do with the local stations.
Then I made another discovery in the next apartment that I moved to. Cable signals leaked out of my upstairs neighbour’s set. By adjusting the antenna, I could receive them fairly well. Once again, I felt that I was being clever when I received the cable channels without having to pay for them. I took advantage of the neighbour’s faulty connection until I moved out of that place eighteen months later.
I now realize that I was guilty of doing to others what I didn’t want done to myself. If somebody used something I paid for or that I had for sale but didn’t repay me, I would have been very upset. Yet that’s what I did to the cable company. Just because they were a big business that supplied half of Edmonton with snow-free reception didn’t give me the right to steal their service. I now am very careful not to download anything I’m not prepared to eventually pay for. In fact, I plan to buy a few software programs soon because they work so well for me. Truly, the labourers are worthy of their hire.
I wrote about similar moral dilemmas in my new book, How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Amazon and Barnes & Noble distribute the e-book version of it while Virtual Bookworm stocks the paperback. My two previous books are available at the Bruce Atchison’s books link.