What’s the big deal?

Plain and simple: Cheating is wrong. No matter how many people do it, no matter what the outcome, no matter how much it helps you, cheating is dishonest. It’s a lie. 

All the above reasons are excuses. And some of those excuses may seem reasonable at times. But the more you make excuses for cheating, the easier it becomes to cheat, again and again and again. And all of a sudden, before you know it, you aren’t just a person who cheated once in a time of desperation, you are a person who cheats when you feel the need. It’s a slippery slope. Research shows, the more you cheat, the easier it becomes to do it again.

(Source: Shu, Gino & Bazerman 2011: http://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Publication%20Files/ARLSS%20Behavioral%20Ethics_441735e0-25f5-477d-943d-dbf781ad3c3d.pdf)

Ask yourself: Is pressure really a valid reason to be dishonest? If you found out your best friend lied to you and she defended herself by saying, “I just felt too much pressure to tell! I couldn’t keep your secret because of the pressure!” would you feel it was ok?

Ask yourself: Is relevance really a valid reason to cheat? If you asked your friend why he lied about the movie times and he said, “Well I couldn’t go to the movies, so it really wasn’t relevant to me what time they were, so I just made up the times,” would you feel he had a valid reason to lie?

Ask yourself: Is the fact that ‘it’s popular’ a reason to do it? In some countries, it’s popular to stone women when they are raped, does that make it ok? If all your friends were stealing, would stealing be ok? 

When you cheat, you cheat yourself. Yup, this is quoting that old saying, “Cheaters only cheat themselves.” When you cheat, you are taking the easy road out. You are not learning valuable skills and information. You are also representing yourself to others as someone you are not. You are not really the person who knew all the answers on the test. You are not really the person who wrote that beautiful poem. You are not really the person who juggled it all. You ARE really the person who decided to lie.

Cheating is one of the many reasons why knowing who you are and what your morals are is so important. What is important to you? What do you want people to think about you? If you cheat, will you be seen as someone who can be trusted? Someone who has gained respect? When does someone cross the line from someone who cheated to “being a cheater?”

Don’t become a cheater.

Post Question:

What qualifies someone as a cheater?

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