A good friend of mine once told me that we should never ever underestimate the wife’s power to influence the husband.
His observation was that the wives use the “fine needle” approach. Say for example, the wife does not like you going out with your good old college buddy. The wise wife will not try to stop you head on. Rather it would be a continuous series of seemingly innocuous comments, small tasks given to you just as you are about to go……… fine needle pricking, fine needle by fine needle, something that you will not even notice, until one day you have a blinking bazooka wound on you.
And you stop by yourself, never knowing what really hit you.
It’s the same with corruption. It envelops us, starting as issues almost inconsequential and creeps slowly and surely on us. The trick is to recognize it as it starts and kill it off straight away.
Cash Money Life had an article titled “A question of Ethics and Money……..”
He sought the views of his readers whether they would return extra money given out by an ATM. Everyone who commented had no doubts they would return the extra money. Some pointed out that the transaction would have been logged and / or on CCTV and the Bank would eventually know anyway.
What if we knew for sure that no one would know? How then would we react?
Our reaction then would we akin to how we would react to an offer of corruption.
I live in a country whose reputation for corruption can be vastly improved. My children may end up in jobs which may allow opportunities for them to be exposed to corruption.
We have set three rules in our family which should help take care of issues like this.
a) Our Family Mission Statement includes the paragraph that “our sources of wealth must be capable of being revealed with pride and dignity…..”
This is pretty much self explanatory. If we have gaps in our explanation of how we obtained this or that item of value, then these gaps would be open to speculation.
b) Never accept any offer from anyone, which you cannot easily reciprocate.
This may be a little tricky. The offers will start in small innocuous ones like meals and presents. Meals that you can easily reciprocate. These, then start getting a little more expensive, perhaps with some travel thrown in…etc. We just have to read the subtle signs and say no.
c) Would you get this “gift” if you were not at your current post or position?
This is another good test. We have to carefully evaluate ourselves the people who claim to just give gifts because of the festive seasons. Would they be doing the same, were you not in the position? If in doubt, then just say no.
The seductive nature of corruption is legendary. The nature of its irreversible trap is something not fully appreciated until we are trapped within.
I hope that my children will know and understand how to recognize the dangerous creeping vine known as corruption. And never ever get entangled, whether other people ever know or not.
And no wealth accumulated out of corrupt dealings can ever give us true financial independence.