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I resolve not to steal.

Instead, I will only take something

when I have permission from the owner.  

Envision forgetting your book in a busy restaurant and returning an hour later to find your book right where you left it. Imagine working for a company knowing you’re paid a fair wage. Or living with someone who doesn’t verbally abuse you. Or visiting a national park untouched by vandalism.

Stealing is taking something without the owner’s permission. So we wouldn’t assume that an abandoned book is for the taking.

But stealing is not only about taking physical objects. We wouldn’t take advantage of others or disregard their right to feel safe. We wouldn’t orchestrate a YouTube minute of fame by taking videos of us destroying public property, or worse. When we resolve not to steal, we respect an individual’s property.

But we go further because we also respect and, thus, do not readily help ourselves to their time, feelings, and peace of mind.

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