Cheating: Don’t

5 08 2013

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Major League Baseball handed down sizeable suspensions to a number of players today who’ve either admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs or have tested positive for such substances.  It is a sorry day for the sport.  You can read about it here.

People cheat to get a leg up on the competition.  People cheat for the thrill of risk of exposure.  People cheat to save money.  They are losers, all.

Recent U.S. history is awash in stories of cheating by high-profile individuals in every conceivable arena where there is competition or some other advantage to gain.  Finance (Bernie Madoff, Michael Milken), sports (list is endless—see the above link), sexual (politicians, preachers, actors and actresses too numerous to mention).  It is a problem.

No, it is a plague.  An epidemic.

Business owners routinely keep two sets of books, paying people under the table or taking elaborate or not-so-subtle steps to avoid paying employee and business taxes owed the government.  Regular folks like you and me are put to the test every tax season:  Will we declare all of our non-gifted income?  Many of us fail the test.  Spouses and couples often cheat one another through outright affairs, flirting, or pornographic indulgences.  Universities are often finding whole groups of students who cheat their way through exams or try to pass off written material as their own.

Cheaters usually get caught.  With technology today, it’s easier than ever both to cheat and to get snared in the act.

Cheaters have an asterisk next to their name in their annals—whether sports records or an otherwise remarkable career.  What do you think of when you hear the names Lance Armstrong, Tiger Woods, Eliot Spitzer, Anthony Weiner, and Enron?  Sports?  Governance and politics?  Big business?  No, I don’t either.

Cheaters, ultimately, cheat themselves.  In the end, they only fool the person they see in the bathroom mirror each morning.  I know.  I’ve cheated before.  One makes good and bad choices in half a century of life.  And I lost.  The scorn cheaters earn for coloring outside the lines is just that:  Earned.  Actions have consequences.

Thinking about cheating, then?


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One response

1 02 2014
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