Is is OK to Cheat?

Everyone likes to feel sometimes that they're getting away with something. This is the reason people buy things on sale, even if they have no use for them. It makes them feel like they're getting a good deal.

The prevalence of a work ethic has saturated many of us with the notion that the way to material gain is through hard work. The consequence of this is that, if we get something without working hard for it, we feel we are getting away with something. Of course, the truth is that we all encounter certain opportunities in life that we didn't anticipate. By conducting our lives in an honest and responsible way, we increase the liklihood of certain types of opportunities, and also prepare ourselves to take advantage of those opportunities when they arise.

But it's much more fun to think that we're getting away with something.

Cheating on your taxes.

You can deduct the price of this book.

(Of course, if you get caught and tell the I.R.S. we said so, we'll deny it.)

Cheating on a lover.

Emotional ties have all kinds of complexities. There must be a reason why you want to cheat on your lover, instead of just leaving him or her. If that's true, then the price you will pay in anxiety, guilt, and confrontation, if it comes to that, will probably not be worth it. Remember, there will always be other people to arouse you appetite, just like, at a brunch buffet, there are always plenty of tempting dishes. What are you going to do, eat everything?

Go to next chapter.