He Says She Says 13/05/10
This week: Do cheats ever prosper?
Life is a game. That’s how I see it.
You do your best to achieve a higher score than your opponent (fellow citizens) before it’s ‘Game Over’. So when I see a kid cheating at a board or card game I find it amusing that they have already grasped the concept that in life you do what you can to stack the odds in your favour.
However, there does have to be a moral compass at play. Stealing is not something that I would ever condone – with the possible exception of Monopoly money (what’s wrong with palming £500 funny money if it means you win the game?) Life isn’t fair and there are a lot of people with truly commendable standards of what’s right and wrong - who will in all likelihood end up get trodden on by those who don’t subscribe to such noble ways of thinking.
It could be argued that a cheat has a more creative mind and is already ahead of the game as such it shows a desire to win at any cost and is someone who is prepared to do what it takes in a very competitive world.
I would put money on the fact that many of the world’s biggest names in business got there through a catalogue of deception. As long as it’s legal that’s just fine with me.
So although it’s not something that we should be teaching our kids I believe it’s not something that should be punished either.
If they get caught cheating maybe an acknowledgment that they took the initiative to beat you and were unsuccessful this time - but better luck next time. Many games are actually based on cheating and bluffing poker is one.
All I would say to a cheat is that unless you are very good at it then be prepared to lose friends and respect. There are several gold medals hanging around the necks of athletes that cheated, but unless proven, they were the champion.
They say, “Cheats never prosper”. I’m not sure that’s always true.
It’s well known that I hate people who cheat, it doesn’t matter at what age someone cheats it’s just wrong, but I have realized that it’s in fact the parents of children who cheat that annoy me more.
It seems to me that the reason that kids cheat is because their parents think it’s funny. I have experienced a number of occasions when a child has cheated at a game, the parents look at each other, laugh and then say, ‘aaahhh isn’t he funny’- no … he isn’t, he’s flippin’ annoying and ruining the game for everyone else.
Unfortunately for the child it will be them who are looked on unfavourably when they cheat, but it’s the parents who should be blamed. It’s down to us to teach our children how to play board games, compete on the Wii and take part in sports in a fair and honest way.
I know - and admit - that I am very competitive; I like people to have fun when playing games but I also like them to try hard and give it their best shot. It’s great when a kid does well or when they surprise themselves with where they come in a running race and it’s also good for them to lose occasionally.
There can be absolutely no pleasure in winning something knowing in your heart that you only won because you cheated, and knowing that other people know you cheated too, which usually they do, if you do feel good about it then there is something wrong with you.
If you laugh at your kids when they cheat at games are you also going to laugh at them when they get caught cheating in their exams? I don’t think you will and therefore you are demonstrating double standards. All their life it’s been acceptable to cheat and then all of a sudden it’s not.
There is absolutely no time when cheating is acceptable and those parents who let their children get away with it by laughing at them are breeding horrible cheating monsters.
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