I caught someone at school cheating. It was an issue of plagiarism. I wished so much I hadn't seen the unquestionable evidence and sought to pass the burden of dealing with the situation upon someone of appropriate authority. I wanted to remove that weight from my load and move on.
"I think I have something I have to tell you...I know that someone cheated. But I don't want to relay it taddle-tale-style. I don't even really want to tell you."
"Do you think this person would benefit from you telling me?"
"I'm not sure. I think things like this have a way of catching up with people on their own."
"If you want to tell me, you can. But you don't have to unless you think it's best."
"Oh man, I was so looking forward to getting rid of this conundrum..."
So I didn't tell and I actually don't think I will. Life is an endless pool of moral options left for us to tread alone.
I've been playing a ton of Scrabble lately. Other graphic design kids started busting me in front of the teacher when I've been playing in class and just yesterday I was nick-named "SQ" for "Scrabble Queen" by a kid in the design program. I love to win in Scrabble simply because I usually can. Despite what any pacifist claims, it feels pretty good to squash competitors every once in a while.
It's really easy to cheat in Scrabble. Just google the words "scrabble cheat" and the top site sends you to a page where you can enter any combination of letters (including blank tiles) and it will reveal all possible word combinations available according to any Scrabble dictionary. I used it a lot until my mom finally called me out.
"Why would you play at all if you have to use that thing?"
She had a point. From that moment on, I stopped. But I've been really tempted to use it every once in a while.
I'd be lying if I said I hadn't lost more lately, but admittedly, I feel better when I win now too.
A few days ago I encountered another situation that I had to come clean about. It was real, life-changing stuff where others' emotions were at stake. It felt awful. As I forced the individual words of truth from my throat, my heart sat heavy and strained in my chest. But I'm still glad I did it.
Do cheaters prosper? Without doubt. But I can never live with my own lies for too long.
at 12:49 PM