Everywhere you look there seems to be some kind of cheating going on; Politics, relationships, careers, school and, in life.
Why do we cheat? Is it an acceptable behavior because everyone else does it? What are the repercussions of cheating and when is it OK to cheat?
Cheating our way through life seems to be the norm. People justify doing it for countless reasons believing a little cheating here and there really does not matter or that it won’t hurt anyone and, perhaps not, but what about the human soul, our own self worth and character? Is that even thought about anymore?
Last year, I decided to be 100% honest and no cheating for one day, and it happened to be the day I did my income taxes. That one day, without cheating, resulted in me owing the government almost $10,000.00 dollars. Why it is that honesty comes at such a high price?
The question could be asked, was it worth it for me that tax day to be honest and not cheat?
This article will give a brief definition of cheating and discuss the areas that are most common where people cheat, why they cheat and the repercussions of cheating as well as, when it is OK to cheat.
Definition of cheating
Cheating is when a person deliberately misleads with the intent to deceive, fool, swindle, defraud or act dishonestly.
Areas people cheat?
Literally, in every aspect of life, some kind of cheating is possible. The common ways people cheat are Politics, in relationships, careers, school and many other little areas of life.
Relationships are the most common area of cheating. I read in a popular Men’s magazine an article that gave advice to men on how to cheat, which was, “If you’re going to cheat, do it the best you can, and don’t get caught”.
Can you believe that advice? Wouldn’t the world have respected a better answer from such an influential magazine such as; “why not be a real man with honor, self worth and a deep respect for the woman you love and stay far away from any form of cheating”. But, that kind of advice does not sell magazines; in fact, it is looked down upon by most men, even by some women who put up with or allow their men to cheat.
There are even agencies available that help men cheat by offering services such as; sound effect CD’s so when you call home to explain that you’ll be late you can make up a story with the proper back ground noises like; mechanic shop clatter, hospital sounds and airport noise.
The service even provides an operator that will intercept calls from the wife and pretend to be an answering service or Hotel manager that will take a message for you. That way you can say you are in Iowa or Nebraska on business when you reality you are in Las Vegas.
Cheating in a career is very common and may bebecause of a poor employment record or no record at all and is always done to get ahead. I remember a young Sergeant getting caught buying the answers to the Lieutenants test. Can you imagine a Hugh organization, such as the Police Department, being lead by a cheater? What if your airline pilot or Doctor cheated on their tests? It happens all the time because cheating, as unfair as it is, gets lazy incompetent people ahead in life.
Athletes in sports, professional and amateur, use anabolic steroids to get ahead, is very common. I think about the young man or woman who trains hard day in and day out, rain or shine trying to become their very best at the sport they love and then someone comes a long cheating, using sports enhancing drugs to catapult them into the lime light above the rest. How unfair and deflating for those true athletes who are trying to do it correctly.
School is where cheating starts and is rampant from middle school through college. Perhaps a child who has low self esteem or no confidence is trying to fulfill parent’s expectations and wanting them to feel proud of them so they cheat just to feel normal, get praise or get that degree to advance in life.
Politics, I am not even going to bother writing anything about Politics. The very word says it all.
Cheating in all the other little areas seems to have become a normal and acceptable way of life for many.Our conversations with others are exaggerated, we cheat on our taxes at the end of the year because we feel we deserve more and we even cheat at our own personal health with stimulants, drugs and medication. Why is it that way?
Why people cheat
There are countless reasons someone will cheat however, the main reasons people choose to, is because of selfishness intentions. Doing anything the best they can, is not good enough, wanting to be better than the other person and because of other factors such as low self esteem, being insecure, etc. People will do anything to try and win, get ahead or be better than the rest.
I also believe we have basic instincts of survival that tell us to do all we can to thrive. However, there is a decree, rules and a moral order that tells us cheating is wrong so, it is our choice to choose.
Repercussions of cheating
Cheating is unfair to those who are honestly trying hard, doing their best but cannot win. A loving spouse who adores and trusts their beloved who conceals the dirty secret they have been with others. Where is true love? Cheating, inevitably leads to divorce and destroys lives.
Politicians, men in power and corporations who believe they are above the law thrive on greed, winning and getting ahead at all costs. Our leaders who lead the most powerful country in the world need to be up front and honest however, it is human nature that when given power and authority most will abuse that power.
When is cheating OK?
Ethically and morally, cheating is not OK, but given the circumstances of a life and death situation, cheating may be the only alternative.
In the Star Trek movie, The Wrath of Khan, James T. Kirk was honored for being the only cadet to ever pass theKobayashi Maru test. The test consisted of various scenarios which were no-win situations so Kirk, thought outside the box a had a friend change the test program so he could win. Captain Kirk was later asked how he was able to win at the test and beat the computer. His reply was, “I cheated”.
Captain Kirk was awarded a commendation for “original thinking” and later commented that his stunt had the virtue of never having been tried. Kirk would later defend his cheating by arguing that he did not believe in “no-win” situations and also defended the test itself by suggesting, “How we face death, is at least as important, as how we face life”. (Source, Memory Alpha)
When it comes to cheating death, this may be the only time cheating is accepted.
It is easier to cheat than to be honest, but it takes a rare human being who is confident, satisfied with their best and who does not feel like they have to prove anything to anyone to move along in life cheat free.
Challenge yourself by committing to one whole day of no cheating and see what the results are, it will surprise you. It does not have to be on tax day or any other significant day, just a day; you decide to be 100% honest without cheating.
To answer my first question in the beginning paragraph of this article, about whether or not being honest and not cheating on my taxes and owing the government $10,000.00 was worth it, I can only answer that question by saying…yes it was.
Article also posted on Triond by Scott Hallock