Dishonesty is the act of deceit or fraud with the
intention of cheating another person. This habit
of dishonesty seems to be part and parcel of
certain people. It is natural for us to expect blatant
dishonesty in, for example, gamblers, illegal hawkers
and unlicensed taxi drivers or even taxi drivers
with licenses to be dishonest all for a few dollars.
Expecting certain people to be dishonest is helpful
in that we can avoid dealing with them. If we have to
deal with them, we are more vigilant. One can never
be too careful.
Read your e-mail or the newspaper and
inevitably there are reports of cases of dishonesty.
These are not reports of the dishonesty of petty
traders or hawkers. These are reports of dishonesty
of professionals, people in positions where one
expects them to be honest turn out to be dishonest.
Throughout the history of man, we have read of
cases of heads of governments, financial institutions,
big conglomerates who have shown themselves to
be dishonest. They misuse their positions of authority
and the trust placed in them. So, dishonesty is
present in all levels of society.
What about the younger generation? They are
not immune to acts of dishonesty in moments of
desperation. The student who wants to excel and
who is not prepared to work for it may be dishonest
during examinations. A young man or woman may
be dishonest to the other person in their relationship.
Within a family, dishonesty can also take place. This
is covered up with the excuse of 'I did not want to hurt
you so I told a white lie'. The white lie is a camouflage
Another type of dishonesty are the scams or
con jobs that promise thousands of dollars and
expensive gifts. Interested parties are invited to
invest in these dubious schemes for lucrative returns.
They naively believe they will end up millionaires or
multi-millionaires. Sad to say, many have ended up
hundreds of thousands of dollars poorer. Why do
these people fall into the traps of such scams? The
answer here is greed - pure and simple.
Sometimes, one can be cheated by dishonesty
not through greed but carelessness, sheer laziness
or the penny wise and pound foolish habit. Helen and
I had a brush with blatant dishonesty when we were
looking for a house to rent. Thinking that we should
save on agents' fees, we put out an advertisement
about looking for a house to rent. Within two days,
a call came asking us to go to a certain address.
The person claimed to be the owner of the house
and was willing to rent it out to ladies only. Happily
we agreed and went to the house. A lady in her mid-thirties greeted us and showed us round the house.
She was pleasant and generous enough to let us
have the house fully furnished. All we had to do was
to come in with our suitcases. This suited us fine as
we did not want to trouble ourselves with furniture
hunting. The offer was a godsend or so we thought.
It did not occur to us to inquire about where she
would be staying if we take over her house. The rent
she quoted was reasonable and so we paid her three
months' rental in advance and collected the keys
immediately. Congratulating ourselves on our good
fortune, we celebrated with a pricey dinner. Next
morning, we shifted to our new place and settled in.
Two days later, someone opened the front door with
a key and brought in some luggage. He demanded
to know what we were doing there. Apparently, he
was the owner and had not put up his house for rent.
We had been cheated by this sweet pleasant lady!
We lodged a police report and subsequently the lady
Dishonesty may be pervasive but fortunately as
the saying goes, what goes around comes around
and the majority of cases of dishonesty are always
uncovered. You can hoodwink a few people but not