Caught a replay of a Tyra Banks Show episode titled “How bad are you?” just now and I really had a worthwhile time watching people reveal the nastiest things they’ve done. The show sort of had the “sins” divided into categories, like whether it’s in the workplace, or in school, or about relationships, or money. They also presented the results of a survey on the percentage of people guilty of those sins.
According to their survey, the two sins with the most number of people committing them are stealing office supplies (78%) and cheating in exams (71%). Coming in on the middle, at 45%, is using the death of a relative as an excuse for missing work. The lowest-ranked sins are sleeping with a friend’s mate (21%) and stealing money from a friend (24%). (But though these last two are the lowest-ranked, still it is crucial to point out that more than a fifth of the sample admitted to doing them).
Stealing from office supplies is pretty common. My mother used to bring lots of bond paper and dishwashing liquid and what-have-you when she was still with the Target supermarket. And growing up, we’ve probably consumed the highest levels of MSG because Nagaraya used to be as much a staple in our house as rice is! My father works at FII, who makes those cracker nuts, and pretzels (he used to take home BLOCKS of pure chocolate that they use for coating), and Scotch Brites, and cornstarch.
The show’s expert for the day—I wasn’t able to know what he specializes in—explained that a lot of people do this because there is a general feeling among workers that they are overworked and underpaid, and it’s a form of compensating themselves. I was almost like, “Ha! See how people really try to undermine the capitalist system, even through small ways! Long live the struggle of the toiling working class!” And these are not even the really most oppressed segment of the pyramid, these are white-collar clerks, accountants, and agents, and they, too, already feel that something—someone?—really big and nasty is preying on them! But I’m digressing =) So, yeah, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it, AS LONG AS they’ll only keep to bringing home just the small stuff like paper and scotch tapes.
Cheating, well, I guess its safe to say that at least 90% of all people who ever went through school have cheated at least once. I cheated in high school. I remember there was this MAPEH test and I didn’t have the slightest idea about Chinese musical instruments or the steps and brushes there are in a particular verse of this ridiculous balse. I just gave up any pretense of knowing the answers, grabbed my clearbook from under the table, and flipped through it rather indiscreetly. The proctor, who was a new teacher, couldn’t have been any stupider for not noticing me. My grade afterwards turned out to be, well, quite shabby, but it was MAPEH and who cared about MAPEH anyway?
Cheating is perfectly normal. In an ideal world, people would wake up with their homework elaborately answered in their notebooks, their paper neatly bound and ready for submission, their brains well-prepared to solve algorithms and oxidations, and write essays about how the First World War erupted or just how reflective really was Father Damaso of the friars’ abuses in Spanish-period Philippines. But this is not, fortunately or unfortunately, an ideal world. And we’ve got to make use of our instincts! Do we flee or fight? Heck, why else did you befriend the class’ geeks for?
BUT, as they say, too much of a bad thing is never good. Cheating should disappear the moment you step into university. Especially if you got into a good university. Getting accepted to a reputable school is already in itself a validation of how well you can do if you give your best. And eventually you’ve got to come into your own. You will never always have friends or family to rely on in times of academic distress. And there’s a lot more to cheating. I personally think that our culture is so permissive of this behavior that after what, a hundred and ten years of nationhood, we still have to find our bearings.
On the other hand, making excuses for absences has never really been my problem. Absenteeism has never been my problem—it’s tardiness that has. Certainly, absenting from school or work without valid reasons is never a good thing. And after all, we can only have so much old relatives we can use when scripting such excuses.
Stealing money, meanwhile, well, is something I have done before. But just from my father’s coin purse, okay. And they’re just coins, alright? And I told him afterwards anyway. I was really young, and was really fat, and I needed to have my candies.
Perhaps a more recent offense I committed that can be related to this category was skipping CWTS classes and going to the mall instead so I’d have my baon full, without the pamasahe subtracted. And I did this, maybe twice the past two semesters. I know it’s wrong, but my class is on a Saturday afternoon and, believe me, the last thing you’d want to find yourself in on a Saturday afternoon is inside an old, drab, poorly-ventilated classroom on the fifth floor of Melchor Hall. And see, I did this very conscientiously, making sure that I only incur just one absence per sem, since we are only allowed three absences for once-a-week classes. I was still a bit GC like that ha ha ha. (And I just can’t help but add that my group’s the only group who got a line of 1 last semester. Who says your guilty pleasures should get in your way of getting a TCG to die for?)
And, finally, messing with someone’s somebody. In high school I never did this, because I never had in my mind such kinds of things back then. Remember, I was really fat, and geeky, and sloppy, and a bit dumb about these things. And now in college, I still don’t, and I don’t see myself ever doing so. Because I wouldn’t want that happening to me once I’m someone’s somebody. Let’s just follow the golden rule please. And besides, people are giving into wantonness everywhere, the world badly needs sane people, responsible people, real God-fearing people to balance things out.
So, how about you, how do you think will you score in the Bad-o-meter?