Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Ain't Misbehavin'

Back in school you had to be good when the teacher was watching, and even when he wasn't. There was a two way mirror in our science class, right up in the front of the room. As soon as the test started, our teacher would disappear to watch for cheaters from behind his "hidden" window. We were being observed even when we couldn't see him. Cheating was just not possible in science class.

What was sad was not that cheating was difficult, but that we were revealing who we were. Some wouldn't even think of cheating, while others wouldn't hesitate. It is not a matter of wondering if we are being watched. We don't cheat because that is not who we are, unless of course that is who we are. Honesty works even when there appears to be no accountability.

Our behavior reflects our identity, or it should. Consistency of integrity was very much on the agenda in that science class. I think I remember more about what that two way mirror taught me than right answers on the science test.

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