I live in a small but nice apartment in League City, Texas, and my living room overlooks the green at a local golf course. I was going to say it’s a nice view most days, then it occurred to me that I still haven’t experienced a not nice day yet!
I get to see all kinds of golfers, actually, truth be told, I don’t watch them much, they’re incidental to the view. There’s a row of trees behind them, the fare way for another of the links, then the driving range behind that.
I have learned about muskrats after looking at the nearby water hazard and saying, “What the heck is that?” Looked like a beaver only with a rats tail. I’ve also realized that bull frogs can get really, incredibly huge! On more than one occasion I’ve walked out and took pity on the Egyptians in the bible because I have an idea what the plague of frogs must have been like.
So today I happen to look out, someone’s ball was just landing in the sand trap immediately North-West of the green. Cart pulls up, guy walks over, takes a few practice swing, then hits the ball farther past the green than he’d started! “Hah!” I laughed, “What was that?”
Rather than go over and try again, he pulls another ball out of his pocket and tries again. I wanted to go out on my patio and yell out, “Hey, that’s cheating!” The second shot was delivered with about 25% of the power of the first swing and stops within a foot of the hole.
Mr Cheater walks over, pulls the flag out and drops it on the green, then kicks the ball in with his foot! Why even bother? Maybe this guy works there, or owns the place, but if not, what’s the point? The last time I checked, golf was not an inexpensive hobby to take up. Isn’t the ultimate goal to play against yourself, to try to get just a little better each time? How is dropping a second ball or kicking the ball into the hole working to better your ability?Why would you pay the $33 Beacon Lakes asks and then cheat?
He was alone so it wasn’t like he had some side bet and cheated his partner. Who are you cheating if not yourself? So why I ask. Society accepts and expects cheating.
Who doesn’t go to a mechanic and anticipate getting ripped off? Maybe you know the guy and he’s earned your trust, but with a stranger, I believe we all expect to get ripped off. Who doesn’t watch the carpet guy race across our floors and believe we aren’t getting cheated out a good job for the money spent all because we didn’t want to take on another $125 for all their bells and whistles?
Sticking with golf, look at Tiger Woods, he cheated, maybe not on playing golf, but after our initial surprise, it seems like most of my coworkers comments ran towards, he was stupid and got caught. Ah, so I see, as long as nobody catches us cheating, it’s not cheating. Cop didn’t see it, I didn’t do it mentality.
I had a coworker, a married coworker we’ll call Bill, many years ago. He was one of those guys who, the very first day on a new out of town project, he was at the bar looking for a local girlfriend. This was his norm and it never seemed to occur to him that what he was doing might not be right. He got a great offer for really good money and left for about two years. His wife decided to teach him a lesson and did what he’d done so many times before. When he got back he had plans, big boat, new truck, lots of toys. He went to the bank and guess what, the account was about empty! When Mrs. Cheater was asked where all the money went, “I bought my boyfriend a condo, furniture, a car, nice clothes and we went on lots of trips.
He came by and was crying, could we believe the cheating b***h had done this to him? “Do you really expect me to feel sorry for you after you cheated on her so many times?” “Sounds like you finally got a taste of your own medicine.” He was genuinely stunned by the reactions he received. I did not condone her actions, cheating on your spouse is always, universally wrong. Two wrongs do not make a right.
How about the stories we hear about the high percentage of students that cheat in school. Do you really want some person who cheated their way through medical school working on you or your loved ones? “Well everyone does it” they say.
I think we need to make examples of people. A professional athlete is caught using performance enhancing drugs, there should be a zero tolerance policy, one and done. Get caught and you are banned for life. Do I think Pete Rose should have his ban lifted, no, I think there should be a lot more people on that list with him. I’m sure Tigers paychecks are a lot lighter these days. I’d actually boycott any brand that chose him as a sponsor, even if his cheating wasn’t related to golf.
Isn’t illegal immigration just another form of cheating? If we’re all in a huff over that and want strict rules and actual enforcement, shouldn’t that be true for all cheating, especially when someone like an athlete or politician, a person in a position of trust is found guilty? We all expect to see heads of banks that cheat be severely punished, right? Who doesn’t off when Paris, Lindsay or some other Hollywood type get off easy again?
I wonder how many kids will decide to use steroids because some person they idolize got caught using them. How many girls will endure the whole binge purge nightmare or decide to try heroine because they’ve heard that this is how the super models do it? “If it worked for fill in name, maybe it’ll work for me too!”
Maybe that guy on the golf course didn’t hurt anyone else, but maybe he did. Maybe I’m the one he cheated, after all, I was affected enough by what I saw to stop and take the time to write this. He’s confirmed a pessimistic stereotype that most people will cheat if they believe they can get away with it. As for me, his actions caused me to write, read and reread this hoping that someone out there will say, “You know, he’s right”, and maybe think twice the next time they have the opportunity to choose wrong or choose the right.
I hope and pray that the next time you have a choice to make, you’ll think of this article, all those athletes, politicians, and say no, it’s time for a change, I will take the first step.