The reason our conversation turned to theft is that we need to buy something that is desired by the water rats that the haunt the area and that’s a new outboard motor. The outboard we have, a Mercury, has been the best outboard we have ever owned. It continues to run but parts are beginning to wear out.
The outboard has been targeted by thieves several times and the latest attempt to steal it happened a few weeks ago. When the thieves were beaten by the padlocks securing the engine to the transom, they tried to take the entire dinghy. When that didn’t work they returned the next night with a large set of grips, new, and probably stolen from somewhere. When that attempt failed, too, the numpties took off leaving the new grips behind. Since those attempts, I have increased the size of the locks and now even lock the dinghy to mooring.
I don’t anger easily, I’m laidback and by no means a slave to my possessions. Having lived on a boat for a large part of our adult lives, my wife and I don’t have many possessions because we never had the space, but, like most honest people, what we have we worked hard for.
Being a prisoner of your possessions is a terrible thing but often it’s the memories associated with them that makes losing them so painful … that, and the loss of freedom.
I had a sextant stolen from my boat along with thousands of dollars worth of winches and diving gear. The winches and scuba equipment were a big financial loss and I still haven’t been able to replace them, but it was the loss of the sextant that hurt the most. The thieving scum stole with it a rich history of seafaring that meant nothing to them. The instrument, one of only a few made, was passed to me because the owner knew I would use it to navigate across oceans. And I did, like the previous owner and owners before him now long dead. That sextant tingled in my hand. When I brought the sun or a star to the horizon it spoke to me, it connected me to a world that I love. Now, when I want to revisit those times, I have to fight my way through the bitterness. See what I mean about theft!
Back to the question of whether I should buy a new outboard? This potential new motor holds no fond memories. How can it? But if I don’t buy it then the thieves win. Without trying they have stolen something far more valuable than mere possessions.
Buddhists are good at this stuff, but I’ve a way to go.