Who’s Cheating? And Who

Just finished reading

Joel Peterson’s The Allure of Cheating – And Why It Doesn’t Pay Off

He made some really great points, though it made me wonder, does anyone ever take the podium, the medal, the cover page, or whatever, without a little “hand of god”? Is the choice finally: “Cheat, and try to not get caught”, or “Accept that you will never beat out the cheaters for the highest awards”?

I am a very competitive person, but insist on playing “straight ball.” I rarely beat the “hook or crook” guys. I have come to deal with this in the same way I explained to my 10 year when some of his younger friends were using the little ramp to bowl with. I said, “you know, they may have a higher final score, and we certainly don’t want to discourage them or insult them, but you have to know, the ones of you who actually throw the bowling ball instead of drop it down a ramp are really playing a different game.”

Of course a 7 year old using an aid to bowl with is a lot more understandable than watching your fellow grown up get the bonus, the award or whatever when you know they are dirty. Still, I think we have to consider ourselves to be playing in the “fair league, even if the “cheaters league” play the same game and keeps the same scores. Though caution must be exercised to not blame cheating every time we come in 2nd or 3rd place. Sometimes, we get beat by a really good and/or really lucky guy who is also playing straight.

In the end, we all can only compete with the optimum self. Of course, improving that self is a worthy goal. And I have found, on the rare occasion I can beat all comers, playing fair, the podium seems taller, the award shines brighter than it would if we knew we were forever at risk of being exposed as a fake!

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