Opinion: Cheating cheaters

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Commentary by Terry Anker

If cheaters never prosper, why do they seem to win almost every time? Take the high road. Turn the other cheek. It can be tough to listen quietly as others express hurtful, ignorant or even intentionally destructive remarks. They take advantage of guile, fear and manipulation to keep us put. And, they “win” every time.

Well, not every time. Trust matters. We humans learned long before the first creative types memorialized our joint efforts on the cave walls that it is to our mutual benefit to work in groups. We protect each other. We sacrifice our own interest for each other. We have a much better chance of prevailing against the wooly mammoth when in the company of each other.

When we cultivate confidence and fidelity in our friends and family, we can best count on their support when and where we need it. Alternatively, lying, bullying and other subterfuge, no matter how clever we imagine it to be, eventually wears thin. Prevaricating, threatening and manipulating can keep others under our will for a moment, but only until the occasion allows for escape. Wouldn’t we be better served to forge our relationships in honesty, knowing that our rejection, if deserved, will be immediate rather, than coming when we most need the backing? If we tell the truth and let folks get to know us upfront, wouldn’t we expect that, when the chips are down, they are there because they want to be and will stay at our sides? Fear, fraud and deception are like iron shackles – they only work when tightly bound but fail if loosened.

Sure, we might get expelled from the mean-girl club, but knowing that our friends know us, and are still willing to stand with us, is worth it. Cheaters may win occasionally, but they never prosper for long.

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