1. Property, like all material things, should be seen as a tool for doing good. We should never “love” a material object, but at the same time we need to respect the rights of people who have worked hard to obtain something.
2. Ask your student if they have ever had anything taken from them. If so, ask them to describe how it felt.
3. Emphasize to your student that it is always wrong to take or vandalize someone’s property. It hurts the owner, but it causes greater damage to the person who commits the crime. No one will ever really feel good about hurting someone.
4. It is especially important to explain the danger of stealing small things. Stealing is stealing and is always wrong. Often, however, when one steals some small thing, they might find it easier to justify. Excuses like “they’re rich and I’m poor” or “it won’t hurt them,” become false justifications and lead to confusion about what is right and what is wrong. In no time at all, this confusion will lead them to steal larger things and to a life of crime.
5. There are plenty of honest ways a person can “earn” property. They usually involve planning and some hard work, but, the harder a person works for something, the more they will enjoy it! It is far more satisfying to have earned something, than to have it given to you, and far more satisfying than stealing it.
6. Emphasize to your student that a person who creates is clever, while it requires no imagination to destroy
7. One of the worse things a person can do is to steal from someone who trusts them, whether that person is a friend, a loved one, or an employer. To abuse the trust of another person is one of the saddest acts a person can commit. People who do that are selfish and have a very low self worth. They should never be your friend, because sooner or later they will betray your trust too.