Vandalism. Definition, Please?

There is a crew of workers in our field, drilling a hole under the road to run a pipeline through. It's rather interesting to watch, with the big equipment, and heaps of dirt, and busy comings and goings. And there's a porta potty there, too, because people have needs.

When I saw the crew arrive, my first thought was that I should feed them. (I'm aware that I'm very June Cleaver-ish, there's no need to point it out.) I baked a pan of cookies and Luke and I walked them down. The crew were appreciative. This good, however, deed was negated by the teens, who TP'd the porta potty and wrapped the seat in plastic that night after the crew left for the day. I was none too happy about this because I consider it vandalism. You don't deface property that doesn't belong to you. I don't care if it's what teens do. I made them un-do their handiwork.


I took the kids to the state park yesterday, armed with a camera and sidewalk chalk. The first thing Luke did was draw a smiley face on a rock. And then the kids wrote "Have A Nice Day" in the middle of the road. It's been on our summer to-do list, to leave a nice message for motorists. This is the last week of summer before school starts, and we've successfully checked that off.


And then my conscience kicked in and smacked me around. Did we vandalize the park? How awful would that be?


But sidewalk chalk washes off with rain. It's not permanent by any stretch. And our intent wasn't to harm or prank, it was simply to make someone smile. We wanted to make someone's day a little happier.

Am I teaching a double standard?



Trisha said...

Hmmm- both chalk and tp are temporary but the covering the toilet seat in plastic makes a mess and puts a crimp in the work day. The smiley and the message - no crimp. I think you are fine!

Cindy said...

Personally I believe vandalism is usually done with a mean spirited attitude, it's harmful and causes extra work for others. Chalk washes off in the rain and brightens someones day. I agree with Trisha, I think you're fine!