70% think cheating is ok.... HT survey

Catch them young - Hindustan Times:
'via Blog this'

"Consider this: when asked if dishonesty was acceptable for success, 70% said yes. The response to whether it is fine to cheat one friend for another was split almost midway — 43% said 'yes' or 'sometimes', while 43% said 'no'. The rest were unsure"

The results of this survey are by themselves quite shocking; but far more than being just shocking, they are also a  call-to-arms (as it were) for all of us, a wake up call if you will. What is even more worrisome is that this is not the first wake-up call that we are receiving... we have studiously ignored each and every indication and wake-up call that we have received so far.

What kind of society are we building - one in which the large majority of citizens think it is ok to be dishonest? It is acceptable to cheat? Far more pertinent is the question as to the source of their "learnings", if you could call it that. Schools certainly don't teach students to cheat or be dishonest. There are 2 sources: one which nearly everyone will be able to point you accurately. This is the external environment: the interactions of students with their environment exposes them to visible signs of people mortgaging their morals for a better standard of living, for enabling routine tasks, for simplifying and removing obstacles on a daily basis. This will certainly have a discernible impact on the more impressionable among them, and affect their behaviour. Their initial experiments with dishonesty bring results; thus it is that the new behaviour translates into a habit... and from there, it transmutes into the value system and core behaviour patterns of the individual.

But the second one is by far the more dangerous... in their formative years, they are largely exposed only to family; and here they see their parents indulging in dishonest behaviour.. like paying a bribe - or accepting it. This is bound to leave an impression on the young child; it teaches him that dishonesty is ok. Then we complicate matters and further compound them with advise and dialogues like "if he is bullying you , why dont you fight back? Dont come home crying like a cry-baby"; or "arre he is a child: masti kar rahe hain. Aur tum toh bade ho:he is cheating because he wants to bat. Let him!" Each and everyone of these interactions drive home one solid point: it is ok to cheat, it is right to be dishonest. Each and every such instance- howsoever small - teaches the child how to behave... whenever the child observes you paying a bribe, for instance - it drives home a point: My Dad thinks it is ok.. so it cant be bad.

It is a combination of the above 2 factors: I cannot say which is more important; but that question seems to me to be immaterial. What is important is the original question I have asked:

What kind of society are we creating? What kind of example are we setting our kids?

Do we care??????


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