By Nancy R. Catan, BCBP Manila
I am disturbed about all the headlines, opinions, unasked-for advice and instant interviews in the media nowadays about graft and corruption, specially zeroing in on the pork barrel scam. Then in one of the comic strips last Sunday I was struck by the way this situation was dissected by the young boy, Calvin.
‘Calvin and Hobbes’ has been one of my very favorite comic strips for years; this youngster and his stuffed tiger display a wisdom that is unusual even to us olders. I would like to share his comments with you.
Calvin: “Today at school, I tried to decide whether to cheat on my test or not. I wondered, is it better to do the right thing and fail … or is it better to do the wrong thing and succeed! On the one hand, undeserved success gives no satisfaction. But on the other hand, well deserved failure gives no satisfaction either.
He continues: “Of course, most everybody cheats some time or other. People always bend the rules if they think they can get away with it. … Then again, that doesn’t justify my cheating.
“Then I thought, look, cheating on one little test isn’t such a big deal. It doesn’t hurt anyone. … But then I wondered if I was just rationalizing my unwillingness to accept the consequence of not studying.
“Still,” Calvin ponders as he scratches his head, “in the real world, people care about success, not principles. Then again, maybe that’s why the world is in such a mess. What a DILEMMA!”
His tiger Hobbes asks: “So what did you decide?”
Calvin innocently replies: “Nothing. I ran out of time and I had to turn in a blank paper … “
Hobbes comments: “Anyway, simply acknowledging the issue is a moral victory.”
Calvin replies: “Well, it just seemed wrong to cheat on an ethics test.”
Now, doesn’t this example sound like some of the reasoning floating around today?
In the BCBP, Brotherhood of Businessmen and Professionals, one of our advocacies is Honesty. Be honest even if others are not, even if others will not, even if others cannot.
Teaching honesty in school and in church is NOT enough. Honesty must be practiced in all phases, ages, and facets of one’s life in order to be effective and accepted as the norm in society. First of all, we must be honest ourselves so that others will be influenced by what we do, not just by what we say.
Simply acknowledging that the problem of dishonesty exists is never enough. Honesty needs to be learned, lived and shared. And it is our responsibility to do this today so that our children, grandchildren and their children will be able to face a more honest and less disturbing future.
thank you so much for this article. I will share this even to my kids. The message is timely – all the time!
If only businessmen and professionals join the bcbp, the philippines would be a better place … no napoles et al thriving.
when i entered the bcbp wayback 2008., my life became complete., i learned so much things in life but the virtue that i want to live for the rest of my life is honesty and humility., IM SO THANKFUL that i am a bcbp., always a bcbp. I LOVE YOU LORD FOR THIS WONDERFUL GIFT…
I love this article.. GOD BLESS BCBP, I hope I can join your group and advocacy.