Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tempting Fortune

“Do not mistake temptation for opportunity.”
In “The Biggest Loser,” every week people go through a “Temptation” for the “Opportunity” to get ahead in the game, eating dozens of chocolates, stuffing their faces with muffins in a set time limit –all for a chance to get ahead in the game.  The game to stay on the Ranch for another week to lose weight and win $250,000 becomes very intense when you not only figure in this amazing opportunity to get healthy and get a life back, but also this huge jackpot. Is it little wonder that you will have contestants stuff their faces with 48 chocolates in 2 minutes for this chance? Is this healthy? Mentally, physically – seriously, is this healthy? I know what the point is supposed to be, but is it really valid? Will they really be faced with this kind of temptation when they go home?
But, I guess if you can walk away from the chocolate with $250,000 on the line, you can walk away from the ranch dip at the office party.  At least one would hope so!
“Do not mistake temptation for opportunity.”
What is a temptation for you? For me it would be to enjoy a glass of wine with a piece of chocolate – that is really tempting. What if though, I allow that temptation to become an opportunity to overindulge? A few extra calories here and there, not a big deal – until I wake up and realize I am 100 pounds overweight (not anymore, but trust me, I was there!). Where did my temptation get me?
Am I twisting this around a little?
Okay – there is a wallet lying on the ground. The temptation is to pick it up, rifle through it, grab the cash, maybe take the cards…here is an “opportunity” to get ahead a little in the world. Might be able to get a new TV, game console, clothes, liquor and groceries – here is my chance. Look at the odds of getting caught, might be just the opportunity needed. All from a temptation.
There is a person unknown to me in the world out there, saw a temptation….they sure took advantage of that opportunity! Lowes, Kroger, Burlington, Spec’s Fine Food and Liquor and Wal-Mart. Not sure what the source of their temptation was – old checkbook mistakenly thrown away, stolen bank statement with cancelled checks…does it really matter how? That person or persons, had a temptation that they saw as an opportunity, and who is paying for it?
Their opportunity has cost me many, many hours of work time and family time. Their opportunity has cost these merchants nearly $2500. Their opportunity has limited my ability to write checks at my local stores. All from a temptation that they viewed as an opportunity.
And, it is happening everyday to countless people across this country and throughout the world. The likelihood of them being caught and prosecuted is so very low that it is discouraging.
I cannot allow my temptation to just give in become another opportunity for them – and neither can anyone else. Even though the battle (and I do mean battle, because we are at war!) may seem insurmountable, we have to protect ourselves from the people who prey on these temptations. We also have to try to make sure they are caught and brought to justice. Sounds corny, I know – the justice system seems to give such light consequences to these felons, that it hardly seems like justice. Another front of the war is this, make sure that these crimes are not viewed as victimless. There are victims…I am a victim, Lowes is a victim, Spec’s is a victim, Burlington is a victim, yes – even Wal-Mart is a victim here. We all are in this case….because guess who gets to pay more because they have to cover the cost of these “bad checks.” We all do.
I could go on and on about how ridiculous this whole process has been – should I list a few? I can’t get hold of the one deputy that can help me get a new driver’s license number, because he has no set schedule and I can’t afford the time to camp out to get him. I have to fill out at least 2-3 affidavits for each check…this again, takes time! But, I am committed to doing this and making sure that I help this process as much as I can!
I am eternally grateful that this was a closed account – I get physically sick when I think what this nightmare would be like if it were my current checking account. I pray for those that it happens to!
All from a temptation that someone viewed as an opportunity.  
Live, Laugh, Love ~
Vanilla Mama
And, least you think I forget….
Your lucky numbers, 18, 23, 32, 34, 39, 41 – perhaps this is a temptation that you should take as an opportunity.

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