I can remember when cheating was a shameful act. My earliest memories of my childhood included that admonition from home as well as from school and church. You just don’t cheat. What has happened? The reports that John Edwards had an affair have been filling the news. But, he replied, the affair occurred when his wife’s cancer was in remission, as if that made it more palatable. He joins a myriad of politicians and others whose arrogance causes them to believe that they don’t have to play by the same rules as everyone else. From Bill Clinton to Elliot Spitzer and who knows who else? Edwards has been reported to have said that he still has a political future and that this one little digression will not hurt his chances for national office. Wanna bet?
Have you been watching the Olympics? Have you heard about the Chinese gymnastic team of young girls? How old do you think they are? It has been reported that the Chinese government takes these little girls from the earliest ages and puts them into a military style of barracks and indoctrinates them into their sport. They don’t see their home or their parents. One little girl, when asked by a reporter if her parents had seen her perform, replied that she didn’t know. She hadn’t seen them. Winning medals is apparently so important to the Chinese communists that cheating is perfectly okay. The end justifies the means. I am sure the Chinese are not alone in their practices. I will not even discuss the judging by the Chinese officials except to say that it is pathetic.
I have also been watching the Little League World Series of late. Call me crazy but I find twelve and thirteen year olds with beards a little disconcerting. I suppose it is plausible that some are early to mature but I remain a bit skeptical.
Some professional athletes seem bent on self destruction with the use of performance enhancing drugs in violation of all rules. They believe it gives them an edge over the competition. Do they not realize that the unfair edge they think they get comes with a very high price? Just ask Lyle Alzedo. How about the pro wrestler who killed his family while ripped on drugs? How does their use of these enhancers affect the other members of their teams who play by the rules? This particular form of cheating seems to be somewhat accepted by the ownership of pro teams because the souped up athletes draw more fans to the games. Baseball fans love to see home runs. Football fans love to see the big hits. Team owners love to see huge box offices and big TV contracts. Any way you look at it, any way you try to justify it, it is still cheating.
With all the cheating going on, is it any wonder that students would cheat on their school work? They see the results of cheating and that the cheaters seem to win. Why not get a good grade? Why not go to the internet and download the test and the answers?
Well I have some thoughts for those out there who cheat. Would you like to have your surgeon graduate from school as a cheat? Would you like it if your attorney who is defending you in a big case is only there because he cheated to get his law degree?
If you would cheat to win a Little League game when would you not cheat? If you would cheat on your wife while she is suffering from cancer, when would you not cheat? If you would cheat in the Oval Office of the White House with a young impressionable intern, when would you not cheat? If, as a country, you would cheat to win gold medals, when would you not cheat? Finally if you would cheat to win an election, when would you not cheat?
I am reminded of the old country song that goes something like this. “Your cheatin’ heart will make you weep. You’ll cry and cry and try to sleep, but sleep won’t come, the whole night through. Your cheatin heart will tell on you.” Cheaters never prosper.
Ron Scarbro August 18, 2008