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Minor crisis of conscience

Background: Yesterday there was an alarm event at the Hall in which the two intruders did a runner, leading to us wrangling with one of them over possession of a bicycle in the driveway. Eventually he gave up and left without the bike.

At the time my entire focus was on a) delaying him for the police to arrive or b) keeping something they might be able to identify him from. If I am honest with myself there were probably aspects of wanting to enforce /some/ sort of consequences on him for his actions against "our turf" and other less salubrious emotions as well behind those goals. Inwardly and outwardly I was using the justification that the bike was probably stolen as well.

With time for my brain to chew it over though another likely scenario for his determination to keep the bike than the chance it might identify him has presented itself, and it makes me feel like a bit of a heel. Regardless of the facts of the intrusion and that the two were definitely searching the hall looking for stuff that might be worth nicking (we can tell by the way they went through allll the cupboards in the areas they reached); the guy was clearly someone who doesn't have a lot of good things in his life and putting the /unfoundedly assumed/ provenance aside it is a fairly nice bike. We had no right to rip that away from him. It's a mark of my own middle-class privilege that I thought it so justifiable.

Heck it may even have been a legitimately borrowed bike, in which case the consequences of our (my) actions are falling on someone completely undeserving. But I am not going too far down that hypothetical (and metaphorical) rabbit hole, it actually serves no purpose.

Anyway now I feel I want the opportunity to apologise to him and return the bike (which has been recorded by police and we have no further use for any way). It is very unlikely that I will get that opportunity so it will have to join the small hill of other regrets and skeletons in my mental closet.

What I can do is /better/ in the future. I was absolutely expecting my privilege and his lack of to protect me from any legal consequences to what were arguably illegal actions on my part, although were those consequences to come I am prepared to face them. But I was also letting it help blind me into treating another person as an other, an enemy, not due rights or feelings.

This would not be the first time I have let this happen, but it is the time I have become cognizant of it. It ... is not ever a comfortable feeling confronting the flaws in ones character. But if I am really trying to be the sort of person I claim to be trying to be I need to own it and work on fixing it.

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