Ben Gibbons pleaded not guilty on Tuesday when appearing in court on charges of petty theft.
Gibbons, 27, was an accountant at the corporate offices of grocery giant, Giant when he broke into his office one night and stole 88 laptops.
The accountant’s innocent plea stems from what he calls ‘self care.’ In a statement delivered to the court on Tuesday he went on to explain that the theft was about putting himself first and doing what he needs to be happy, a tip he picked up from meditation apps like Headspace, numerous wellness podcasts, and his life coach.
After being released on bail, Gibbons’ attorney, Martin Pereira explained the plea in greater detail with the Daily Orb.
“These are stressful times, and people are looking to take care of their mental health. My client was suffering from anxiety and turned to the now-exploding wellness sector for help. They told him to do anything that comes to mind and completely disregard the well-being of others or any shred of morality whatsoever.”
Gibbons’ understanding of self care, however inaccurate, does not seem to be his alone.
Across the country, millions of Americans, predominantly young professionals, took to social media to express their support for Gibbons, with one Twitter user stating that self care is “about doing you no matter what the consequences are,” while others chimed in with their own confessions of theft, gluttony, fraud, and binge-watching of programs like the Gilmore Girls.
Dr. Vishnu Patel, a longtime psychologist and researcher fired back in an interview with CNN’s Don Lemon on Wednesday.
“Something is wrong with this generation. When we say be kind to yourself, we don’t mean go commit crimes or drop all your commitments or do whatever the fuck you want. I don’t know how EVERYTHING we said about mindful meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy got glossed over in favor of ingesting mass amounts of ice cream six times a day and committing petty crimes, but I guess thats what putting yourself first means when you spend all your time on TikTok.”