Corroding: (v) to eat or wear away gradually as if by gnawing, especially by chemical action.
At one time I adopted (or maybe adapted) three extra sons into my household.
It was a inspiring feeling—the sensation of helping these kids out, but also the pride that came from doing something out of the box, which
other people “oohed and ahhed” over because of its nobility. (That’s who we are–a mixture of possibility mingled with ego.)
Well, back to my story.
I wanted to make sure the young fellows were comfortable, so in a fit of generosity, I decided to buy them little candy bars which I could hand out after meals as desserts. The candy wasn’t that expensive, and I knew they would look forward to having one after enduring the latest green bean surprise.
Here was the problem: every time I went into my pantry, there were fewer and fewer candy bars. It was not due to the fact that much time had passed, and many meals had corroded my supply.
No, I was being pilfered.
There was someone in the home who was taking more than his fair share of what I bought out of tender loving care.
It created two problems. First, there were fewer candy bars than there should be, and unless I purchased more, we would run out before the end of the week. Secondly, if I didn’t get to the bottom of who was copping the treats, I would buy more and inadvertently feed the addiction to both chocolate and deceit.
So even though I felt foolish, I realized that the greatest corrosion in the situation was the breaking of trust and allowing one or more of the young men to believe that taking what was not offered is acceptable, and not stealing.
It was painful.
I think the third degree went on to the fourth and fifth degree and the inquisition took at least four hours.
Finally, one of the young men broke down, in a reaction that landed somewhere between tearful and enraged over being trapped and admitted that he was the one who snatched the sweets. It was ugly. It is always ugly when something of value begins to corrode and it becomes necessary to trace where the attack is coming from.
But because the young man admitted he was the one, I was able to continue to buy candy bars, and trust that the other two fellows would watch him like a hawk—to protect their prize.