I just went through this experience where I ended up messing with myself with some intensity.
A friend of mine asked me if I wanted to buy a transit pass from one of his acquaintances. Here in Vancouver there is a private company that handles all the public transit, the way that it works is that there are three transit zones, there is a tier based cost for each consecutive zone. For me to get to work I have to travel through all three which gets really expensive if each trip is paid for individually so I buy passes. The pass that was offered to me I was under the impression that it was a standard three zone monthly pass and I could buy it for like 75% off which is a steal. But when I was in the position to buy the pass I found out that it was a educational pass which means that it is for university students and a student ID card is required to be shown for the pass to be valid. The problem arose within myself when I allowed myself to be convinced that I could get away with it, and basically just slip by the month using this pass that I could not back up with proof of illegibility.
Today was my first day using it and I just was experiencing some fairly intense anxiety, where I was like totally nervous about being caught. The fine for possession of a fraudulently obtained student pass is not cheap and while the chances of being approach by the transit police/security is statistically low, it is not uncommon and I have been checked numerous times over the years. Also last night I found out that the frequency of the checks by police and the seriousness of the fines has been increased within the new year. So I had really worked myself up into quite a system of fear about it. I have a few transfers on my morning commute so each time I changed buses/train I was facing this point of anxiety and fear of being found out. And on the last transfer low and behold there was a check taking place, in my favor in that case I was able to see the check before having to move into the fare zone so I was able to buy a legitimate pass for the morning. So over the day I just considered if this was worth the hassle and stress of getting to and from work everyday where I was thinking and worrying about getting called out on having a illegitimate pass and constantly looking around to evade a fine. By the end of the day I decided that it was not and I just bought a actual monthly pass and immediately all anxiety was gone.
Within this I was able to see a few points that jumped out at me about this situation.
One was this point of wanting to save money to the point where I was willing to deceive the system/law to save a few dollars.
Another was this sense of guilt for trying to deceive the system.
Fear of being caught and being seen as a fraud or criminal offender of which the Vancouver police consider the act of fare evasion or fraudulently obtaining fares a criminal offense and would go on my record if caught.
Fear of losing out money where if I was caught where the fine would not only include the fine itself which amounts to the cost of a legitimate three zone pass, plus the would confiscate the educational pass, and then I would still have to find my way to work, and so buy an additional pass.
And within all this a conflict of anger towards the system for placing these systems in the first place, I was angry about having to work within this system where it cost so much just to get to work. I was/am angry that we have to be subject to the whims of a private corporation just to get around. I was angry because there has been controversy here in Van over the company that runs the transit where the management of the company are walking away with huge bonuses and claiming that the company is losing money and so keep raising the cost for the service.
I see the common sense of a basic income in this case where it would really elevate a lot of the pressure to try and cut corners by people in financial distress in the face of the law whichever way possible. We would not have a need to look for a cheaper way to do things at the expense of taking risks and “cheating”.
I can also see how this could really have a impact on the vitality of a city where making transit a basic right for all citizens would free up a lot of capital for people to place into other, productive areas of our economic model.
So yeah this is my experience over the past day. Something that kept coming up was this point of hearing Bernard’s warning. “Don’t break the law.” In the past I have taking a very anti-government stance and really vilified and condemned how the system runs and enslaves us. But now I can see that if we cannot work within what is here and play by the rules and find solutions within the current model then we/I can really lose our/my credibility in/by breaking the current laws.
I should be able to educate myself and place myself in a position where I support myself to the point of not needing to break the law. And have patience and trust within myself to find a way where I do am not taking unnecessary risk. Now I can understand certain exceptions like downloading for example. Having access to particular information that otherwise would be outside of my financial capability to but this again is about self honesty and common sense where I can realize and recognize the amount of risk involved and the reasons why I would like to access the information. I am very unlikely to be persecuted for downloading a few movies or books, while the chance of being fined for falsely possessing a educational pass is actually higher.
So within this all I can see that I have conflicted the point to a certain extent where it is OK to break the law in some cases but not OK within others. I notice that a lot of the issue I faced over the past day was basically out of fear of being caught/exposed within a real life situation. So this brings to the forefront, why am I OK with breaking the laws when I am hidden behind a screen and a ip address, and not OK when testing the system in real life. I suppose this comes down to the point of fear of confrontation, I do not want to actually have to deal with or confront the system on what I see should be a practical way of doing something or standing within my own view of self authority. I vilify the system but have yet to stand up to it as and within a set of incorruptible principles in which I live by.
Wow yes this opens up the point nicely since that is why it makes it so easy to commit transgressions against the current laws within something like downloading, I can do what I want, get what I want face very little response or opposition from a real person that represents social structure. I face little risk in being persecuted.
So what I can see is that I should be able to realign the point of fear within being caught in something that would cause me to confront the system directly and become clear within what I am choosing to gain from something like downloading where the confrontation is indirect. I should be able to look at what I am trying to do in all cases and see if what I am doing in walking that line of illegality is within a point of responsibility and if it is something that is necessary for my personal growth or doing it merely out of fear of survival or in the case of downloading something that is only for personal enjoyment and stimulation.
Alright Ill stop there for tonight and pick this up within self forgiveness tomorrow.