Are you ethical, Are
you moral, Do you care?
Cheating in America, A National Pastime
Look around. Today, more than ever before,
it has become fashionable to cheat. One could say, and come away without too much criticism,
that everyone expects it. The funny thing is the person who expects it, or observes it, or knows someone who does it, never
does it themselves. Ironically, they actually believe they are not infected. As noted, this is a national pastime.
Why is this? Why do husbands cheat on their
wives and wives cheat on their husbands? Does not the vow to love, honor, cherish, and "obey", (some leave out the
"obey" part now), mean anything. Well, it appears the times indeed are changing.
In America at least, spousal cheating, encouraged by theater, movies, partytime,
and yes, peer pressure, is at epidemic proportions. Does anyone feel guilty? Absolutely, just before it is time to maybe do
it again. Kids today, as a result, have groups of parents i.e. first there is the real father and mother, then there is 1st
father and 1st mother, and 2nd father and 2nd mother, and so on and so forth, not to mention step brothers and step sisters
galore. When we talk about extended families today, we are certainly not talking of the family of 50 years ago that included
aunts, uncles, and cousins right down to twice removed. Now, there is no way to keep up.
Then there is the work environment. Parents who cheat at home, cheat on the job. They lie and steal to get ahead. Oh,
it is not the feloneous type of stealing, although that is always possible, it is the subtle kind -- stealing someones ideas,
words, concepts, suggestions, as well as time from the company on the phone, at lunch, leaving early on weekends, calling
in sick when one is not sick, and taking paper, pens, pencils, paperclips and anything not to heavy to carry. If one is in
construction, they take bricks, boards, mortar and tools. Cheating on the job has taken on national epidemic proportions.
Walmart with their 360 degree cameras strung from the ceilings from every store watch the employees as much as they watch
And in the churches and among clerics, what do we find? All of the
in the courts and legal profession, what do we find? All of the above.And so on and so forth...for it permeates every level of our society.
in education and among the educators, what do we find? All of the above.
And in health and among medical professionals what do we find? All of the above.
And in government and among our legislators what do we find? All of the above.
And what about the kids? Where do they fit into this?
Over 70% of them admit to cheating before they
graduate from high school. By the time they finish college, 80% are willing to admit they have done it in some way.
When college business students are asked what is the most corrupt field to go into, over 90% suggest it is business. Yet,
they willingly choose it as their field of specialization because that is "where the money is."
about the tiny tots? At what age does a child learn to cheat? Studies now show that 3 out of 4 know how to do it by the time
they are 5. And where do they learn it from? The parents, of course.
So the old adage, "do as I say, not as
I do", really does have a beginning and a significance because it seems most have done it and really do fear their offspring
or their charges will do it too. Why? Simply because it is wrong. We all know it. We all feel it, and we all do not want our
youngsters or our charges to do it. We really do want them to be better than us. The internal gut wrenching feelings get us
every time. And if we don't feel anything? Well then we are psychopaths, socially detached from society and any responsibility
In today's world the word "ethical" has taken on a new meaning of "squeaky clean"
and "please look at me or my organization for we are ethical practitioners." Do the new awareness responses mean
much when you really know the facts? Lawrence Kholberg's theory of ethical development may be hard pressed to determine why as human beings we seem to be stuck in moving forward. It seems
the further we go in greater prosperity and technology development the behinder we get in moral development. Is it an illusion?
Actions speak louder than words. To be ethical, one must act ethically. One has to lead and show by doing and not
accept society's drifters who proclaim when observing ethical breeches that "they're just kids" or "everybody
does it" or "it was only a fling", or "I had no choice". Unless somebody is holding a gun to one's
head, everybody, no matter how small or how old, has a choice. They may not like what the potential outcome may be but they
had a choice to do the right thing.
Is it tough? What do you think?
Dr. Fred DiUlus, Director, CEFE, e-Education, and Success Motiviation.