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Are We Surprised?


Anyone really surprised by the college cheating scandal? Really? I mean Aunt Becky from Full House is a little surprising but otherwise...Nope, not at all...

It's everywhere; in every school, office, church, temple, league, whatever and wherever there is always someone looking to game the system, gain an advantage, beat the system or that simply feels that they (or their kids) are better than you and yours.

And you know what? That's life. Learn to deal with it, work thru it, around it, over it and find a way. Life ain't fair.

And where does it start?

Your kid doesn't like his teacher or gets a bad grade so you go in and have his class changed.

I know I said we weren't going to change our contract, but now we are...

Your kid didn't make the All-Star team so you sign up to manage the following season so you can vote him on yourself.

You buy that quilt at the school gala for 20k that's made by a class of 10 year olds and suddenly you're on the board.

You put that deal/contract in writing for your friend/colleague but the other guy has to rely on "trust".

You'd rather have one guy mad at you than 10 West U moms so you make a "judgement" call.

We all know...We're not fooling anyone - not even ourselves.

We have value, mission and ethics statements plastered on the walls and in the hallways of our schools, offices and even homes that we walk past every day. We have names of corporations and brands on our business cards and email addresses. We wear colors and jerseys of our schools and teams. Do we stop and think about what they all stand for? Are we really paying attention?

Our word and integrity is really all we have. If you say it, mean it, do it. We’ve gotten so accustomed to accepting shitty behavior that we’ve lost the sight of the basic line between right and wrong.

I’d pose two very simple questions:

  • If a friend, teacher or anyone came to you and said “Your kid did blah, blah, blah....”. What would your advice/reaction be to their behavior?

  • If your kid knew YOU did blah, blah, blah would you be proud or embarrassed of your behavior?

Maybe if we all just checked ourselves more often, we'd see a little less questionable crap and a little more kindness and balance.

I fall on the blessings of a skinned knee side...People you love die, they go to prison...You make your bed, you've got to sleep in it. Smoke 2 packs a day, don't be surprised when you get lung cancer. Sell drugs, don't be surprised when you finally get caught. Bribe your kid's way into college, yup eventually it'll catch up to you...Don't study for the test, don't be surprised when you don't get the grade you want. Want to make the team, you better outplay the kid who's parents donated the new scoreboard...Hey, don't do the crime if you can't do the time.

What I have a hard time trying to comprehend is how anyone can function DURING the whole process? How do you sleep, not worry about getting caught, look people in the eye and live carefree day to day once you make that decision to "cross the line"? Now that's a whole 'nother level of not giving a fuck....

That's where the punishment, the loneliness, the insecurity and the unhappiness must be...At least, that's what I choose to believe (need to believe). That there is actually a feeling one must get in the pit of their stomach when they wire that money, accept that bribe, make that trade or buy that kid a spot on the team...That every day, every time they're in the stands, turn on the TV, walk onto that campus, their office, bank, they've got to be wondering if/when this is gonna come down...That's just gotta be an awful way to live.

It's wrong. All of it. The harassment, discrimination, privilege, entitlement, insider trading, payoffs, donations, bribes, lying, cheating, stealing...And we know it too. Perhaps you don't need accountability if you genuinely don't give a fuck and therein lies the problem.

Can it stop. Yes.

Will it stop. No.

Is it our responsibility to try and make a difference? I hope so.

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© 2018 Greg Scheinman. All Rights Reserved.