Cheating Life

Posted in Ethics, Personal Development at 10:51 am by Haider

Having participated in the NBK Walkathon, and observing the willingness of many participants to cheat, I thought I should comment on what cheating means, and how it can be damaging to our lives and ourselves.

The NBK Walkathon offered cash prizes for the first 10 participants to finish the race from each category (every age group of both genders). The cash prize is given as a reward, and in recognition of the achievement of these participants. It is not simply a gift, but represents an exchange between NBK and the winners: win the race, according to the prescribed rules of the race, and earn the cash prize. How can you win the race? By putting in the effort and dedication to practice, changing your eating habits, caring for your health and having the psychological mindset to perform your best.

A cheat, however, may win the cash prize, but without offering anything in exchange. He assumes that by receiving the cash prize, he has achieved something. The same principle is true in any walk of life. Academic exams are set to determine the abilities of the students. They are set only as indicators of a student’s intelligence, his analytical skills, focus, communication skills, etc. If a student achieves good results, they are only meant to be a recognition of these abilities. A cheat, on the other hand, hopes to earn recognition by getting high scores, without possessing the qualities required to perform well in the exam. But the exam results do not produce qualities, they are only a means (and not a perfect one) to indicate them.

Cheating, in many cases, robs those who are worthy of recognition from the recognition they deserve, and offers it to those who lack the qualities being recognized.

I have heard of a case in one company (and this is something quite common in the corporate world) where an employee worked really hard to produce a report, and having submitted it to her superior, had her name replaced by her superior’s name, in order to gain recognition for the report. What has her superior contributed? What does this recognition grant the superior?

At the end of the day, a cheat cannot offer any value. He can only pretend to offer value, by exploiting the metrics and the symbols we use to recognize the qualities we admire. A cheat lives an empty life, trying to nourish an empty soul with empty praise. He can never fulfill his desire for recognition, or appreciate the rewards he has stolen, when his soul and life are not worthy of them.

It is not simply a matter of being rewarded, but knowing that we are worthy of the rewards we receive. We should always seek to develop ourselves, and seek to be rewarded for what we deserve.


  1. Ralf Wilmes said,

    March 29, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    Couldn’t agree more Haider. The desire for the unearned as Ayn Rand called it. The desire to fake reality rather than face it. Sadly, many people do not even make a secret of it: ”it’s part of life, what are you? stupid to pay for everything when you can get it for free”.
    They miss the point. The question would be: how on earth do you think that faking, cheating or lying, is ever going to contribute to your happiness?
    Well somebody tell me. I never succeeded, not only, it brought me to un-happiness.
    Thanks for bringing the issue to the attention. Cheers, ralf.

  2. Haider said,

    March 29, 2008 at 7:35 pm

    Dear Ralf, you have the cheats at the race to thank for bringing the issue to *my* attention 😛

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