Hard times are no excuse for theft – Tiiu Kerm, a psychologist
This is not so much a psychologist's view than a Christian's. I am not a passionate believer, I just had a Christian upbringing since childhood, but as a Christian I say that no motive can be a justification for stealing. There are always other ways to manage instead of just stealing.
In my opinion, this is the moral weakness of a person. If you are going to do something like that, you have to tell yourself: stop – this is an act which cannot be allowed or committed.
We have been through the same situation when we restored Estonia's independence. We were very poor then too. The principle “you take what is left unguarded” is a kind of remnant from the Soviet era. It was natural for the people, who worked in the collective farm, that they later also stole from the families on whose farm they worked: they stole piglets, animal fodder, milk, or skimmed the milk.
If we look more generally at what is happening in society, we do not put any emphasis on morality at all. As they say: What is permissible for Jupiter is not permissible for a bull. But people still follow the example [of those in power].
The Ten Commandments are elementary, but our society lacks such things today, and the society is sick. Homes do not teach ethics and morality. This is actually a huge work what the schools face and should do.
Translated by Kristjan Tedre.