Pursuit of Happiness is a slippery slope for some.
I am an incorrigible reader of news and where these are reporting human frailties my antenna goes up instantly; and with experience I know a good story even before I settle down to read it.
Take the following news for instance:
In the month of June 2012 one Patricia Smith, the former controller of an auto dealership in Pennsylvania, was headed to jail after embezzling $10 million from her former boss in a stunning case of a trusted employee looting the business then squandering the cash on luxuries.
Smith, who worked at Baierl Acura located in Wexford, Pa., an upper-middle class suburb of Pittsburgh, was convicted of systematically stealing for seven years–some $4,000 a day on average–for private jet travel, special trips to the theatre, fancy clothes and other goods, according to the court.
According to Shannon Pierre, of ABC Pittsburgh affiliate WTAE, who reported on the story from court, Smith’s reason for her crime spree was she felt like a “horrible daughter, wife, mother and friend” and the gifts were a way to “earn their love” because she wanted to see “what happiness looks like.”
Oh that was a good one! Pursuit of happiness was a phrase that made sense to Patricia. Here was happiness in its lurid colors and it didn’t work for her. In fact ‘pursuit of happiness’ was not simply a catchphrase but a whole sentence. Nearing retirement age she must serve 78 months in prison, three years of probation, and pay restitution of $10,349,569.14 for the fortune she obtained by making more than 800 money transfers from the Baierl Acura’s coffers to her personal accounts. (Good Morning America, June19, 2012).
When you are among lemmings watch out. Pursuit of happiness could land you in trouble.