After yesterday’s post, I got to thinking more about cheating, particularly in college.
I have to admit I never cheated in school, period. I’ve been called a “goody-two-shoe,” but that’s not really it. I just never was tempted. Maybe it has something to do with being Catholic and knowing I’d have to face a priest in Confession!
Still, I wonder if God gives me much credit for honesty, when it’s not really something I have to struggle over.
Statistics indicate only 20 percent of college students in the 1940s admitted cheating in high school; today, that figure has jumped to between 75 and 98 percent.
How many of those students in the 1940s cheated, but knew it was wrong and lied to cover it (skewing statistics)?
Or have morals in our country deteriorated that much?
Today, cheating doesn’t carry the stigma it used to. Kids don’t see it as wrong, having started as early as elementary school; teachers and administrators inflate grades and cheat to meet the No Child Left Behind standards; and statistics show two-thirds of parents believe cheating is OK if it gets a kid good grades and into a better university.
There are more opportunities to cheat, kids are more clever in avoiding “capture,” and penalties are less severe.
And cheating doesn’t stop when a person earns a diploma. Tax evasion, employee fraud, athletes using steroids, resume embellishment, and the list goes on and on.
So what can be done?
I admire parents, colleges, and businesses who refuse to condone cheating. But they face an uphill battle, complicated by the fact that we’re imperfect people living in an imperfect world.
God’s Ten Commandments don’t allow for much “wiggle-room.” Things are either right or wrong, and cheating, like stealing, is wrong. It takes something away from somebody else.
So perhaps the solution begins with recognition that cheating is wrong.
Just because “everyone else is doing it” doesn’t make it right.