Image [cc] lorzzzzzzz

When I get up in the morning, I usually look over the day’s news feed via Google News, and my wife will occasionally chime in with the question “So, is the world going to Hell in a hand basket again this morning?” Which I usually reply, “yep…” then I laugh (because otherwise I’d have to cry.)

Whether it is Scott Thompson lying on his resume, Dewey LeBoeuf fudging its AmLaw 100 revenues and profits, or some college student downloading a paper off the Internet and putting her name on it, it all points to an attitude of lack of ethics/morals, or simply an idea that the past won’t catch up to us, or that if it does, we’ll be given a pass on our previous actions because we can show that we’re successful and that those lapses in judgement are offset by the end results we’ve achieved. The sad thing is… that attitude probably wins out more than it loses. Kind of like my earlier post on The Values-Based Narcissist – without the values-based part.

It is stunning to see how successful people seem to live in a bubble of thinking that the ends justifies the means in what they do. When they are caught lying, cheating or fudging, they tend to react as if they can’t believe you are calling them on their actions, then they deflect as if it were someone else’s fault (“hey, it was the headhunter” or “hey, everyone fudges the numbers, we were just playing the game.”) Then comes the apology, which usually comes in the form very close to “hey, I’m sorry that I got caught.”

All of this ranting is really just to set up a conversation that a college professor friend of mine had with one of her students. The student copied a paper off the Internet, added her name to the top and turned it in as her own. What most of us (but not the student) would call plagiarism. I turned the conversation into a video (and she confirmed that this is very close to the original conversation.)

I know that not everyone lies, cheats and fudges their way in life… but, I do seem to find enough examples of it to fill my Google News feed each morning. I’m going to go take a walk and start laughing now… otherwise I’ll just sit here and cry (and my co-workers hate it when I do that.)