How Innocent Are You?
The other day Bill talked about cheating and how some of us think cheating is okay just because we can get away with.
Well, all of us must have done a little bit of cheating. I mean, I remember “talking to a friend” during a Chemistry test in Grade 11.Yes, I was terrible at Chemistry and I just knew I had to make it through.
Then, I also remember being extremely angry at a friend because he cheated and went around and “seriously dated” two girls at the same time.
Also, I remember being mad at a neighbor who had an extramarital affair and thought it was okay because it “didn’t mean anything”.
How do we draw the line? When do we say, this side of the line is okay, and a little bit of cheating might be overlooked. Like Bill, says he kept some change. Maybe that happens to everyone. You get extra change and you realize it much later and the thing is just forgotten because a few cents don’t really mean so much. As a kid, you might have cheated at a test and years later, when you think about it, you laugh at the minuteness of the whole thing and how irrelevant it actually is now. You even might have picked some office stationery at the hotel you stayed in. And you know it might not be right, but it really isn’t hurting anybody right?
But then, the “other side” of the line is a dark alley where things get a little tough and maybe judgments bound to occur. Because the cheating really ended up hurting somebody. That is when the word denotes something ugly; when one knows that it will not be another memory where you will look back and have a good laugh.
So, what makes us decide what really is acceptable and what is not? There is a little voice inside of us called conscience which tells us that there is a huge difference between keeping a little bit of extra change and going out and making an embarrassment of yourself and your family.
That conscience stops us from crossing that line.
That conscience stops us from knowing the difference between a few cents and a thousand dollars.
That conscience makes us know our limits.
But really, is there a limit? Is there a threshold below which things can be overlooked. Or is just everything unacceptable?
photo credit: Ryan Forsythe