We live in a world where “the end justifies the means” has become an acceptable school of thought for far too many. Staff under budget sales to exceed budget at the end of the year, for a better bonus. Sales people overpromise and under deliver, all in the name of making their quota for the month. Entrepreneurs overstate company values because they want the highest valuation possible from an investor. Investors understate a company’s value in order to negotiate a lower valuation in a deal. Employees call in “sick” because they don’t have any more paid time off to study for their examinations. The list could go on and on, and in each case the person committing the act of dishonesty told themselves they had a perfectly valid reason why the end result justified their lack of integrity.
But human beings never learn, even if history repeats itself. I’m human and do not want to pass judgment on our behaviour. So, I’ve got two quotes by two differently abled persons. One a lawyer and a freedom fighter and the other a brilliant scientist, from the same era.
You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty… By Mahatma Gandhi ( 1869-1948)
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former… By Albert Einstein (1879-1959)
I would like to go with “hope” that though dishonesty may provide instant gratification in the moment, in the long run it will not last. Therefore, do the right thing, regardless of anybody’s going to know whether you did it or not.