20190916 00119 4 minutes

The phrase caught my ear on the news on t.v. They were talking about Congress and their penchant for holding the country at ransom with the debt limit non-debates. Apparently our elected representatives sort-of came to their senses and finally realized they would all suffer if they got caught up in a tug-of-war right before the election. That could cost them votes in their home states, which could be more expensive in the long-run than playing nice. So they came to some agreement to prevent that. Amazing! It’s incredible what effect having one’s hide, or job, on the line can produce. The commentator likened it to cheating on your homework – making it look like you are doing something good when you know you are being deceptive.

How many of us put on a good front to deceive the great world around us? Nothing big, just putting on a clean dress and fresh lipstick and leaving almost on time, when we know the kitchen floor wasn’t washed properly after the dogs brought in that dreadful “thing” from outside. And what was it anyway?

Silly little things, like cutting corners and buying foreign-made produce or merchandise because it is cheaper, when we know it is costing our neighbors their jobs. We have been so brain-washed by television ads, as well as programs and articles, supposedly devoted to stretching our dollars, into believing that “cheaper is better,” that we have forgotten that paying a tiny bit more and keeping a local store in business, or an employee in a job, would be much cheaper in the long-run. Just think of the unemployment benefits it would save!

Why is having a house that looks like a hotel, sparkling and anti-septic, instead of lived in and individual, something to be proud of? Clean and tidy is one thing. Spending half one’s life trying to impress the neighbors with how perfect we are, but knowing that the cupboard under the stairs is a mess, not to mention the state of the garage and basement, is a waste of the precious time we have been given on earth, as well as a big pretend when we know how fallible we are. More cheating on our homework.

Why do we do it? What prompts us to pretend we are better than we are?

We know the truth. We know our failings. Why is it so important that others must not be let in on the secret?

Don’t be under any misapprehension. They are just as fallible as we are. They are almost certainly playing the same game – pretending to be as perfect as they can manage and terrified to have others find out their dirty little secrets.

For some people it is so important that they resort to immoral and illegal practices to achieve it. What, in our society, has produced this end? Why can’t we be satisfied with our circumstances, and those of our friends and neighbors?

Striving to be better is one thing. Pretending we are something we aren’t is letting society manipulate our values beyond the appropriate. We need to allow ourselves to be who we are. No more cheating on our homework.