“Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant. But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.”― Proverbs 9:17-18 [KJV]
Cheating seems fun. Using the backdoor can be sweet and stress-free. Bread eaten in secret can really be pleasant, especially when it was stolen. There’s nothing as relieving as getting on a silver platter what others are striving to get on a “stone platter”.
Back in high school, when others were burning the midnight candles, a few others invested their time in chasing after leaked papers. Learning seemed too much of a chore for them. After all, no one wanted to go through the eye of a needle when there was an alternative route of a larger backdoor. What mattered most was reaching the destination anyway.
Those who cheated their way through passed their exams all the same. They furthered their education just like everyone. Thing is, cheating almost has no short-term effect― of course, unless one is caught. Stolen waters are sweet because the thief, for a moment, thinks he has outwitted everyone.
As these colleagues progressed in life, they gave no thoughts to the long-term effect of their cheating prowess. Though they excelled in their exams, little did they know they had a weak foundation of understanding. Cheating may make you appear excellent momentarily but it doesn’t take away your ignorance. Stolen waters may quench your thirst briefly but you may have to keep stealing to appear satisfied!
The big picture of our cheating colleagues is what we see today in society― professionals who commit unpardonable errors. The long-term effect of cheating is when doctors and nurses unintentionally lead patients to their untimely grave because of negligence. Cheating bears fruit when our buildings collapse because professionals involved don’t know their jobs too well. Cheating is cheap but has expensive effects!
Stolen waters are sweet for a moment because no one ever thinks of the big picture. When we cheat our way to the top, our foundation becomes weak. Our successes only hang by a thread. Bread eaten in secret seems pleasant because we refuse to look ahead for the rippling consequences.
Sad to say, many are cheating in many spheres of their life, especially marriage. With all sorts of excuses, many have found a cunning way to justify why they can’t stick anymore to the promises they made to others on the altar. Ironically, we do expensive weddings but treat our marriage vows cheap!
There’s no justification whatsoever for cheating. The grass is only green where it is watered. Whatever you find attractive wherever, you can work your spouse out to have it, too. We don’t go looking for greener pastures outside our home when our homes could have been greener at a little watering. When you see grass all green, it didn’t just happen. Someone did the watering and maintenance!
Every marriage should run on the wheels of the golden rule― do unto others just as you would have them do unto you. If you would ever throw tantrums should you get to know your spouse was cheating, don’t cheat, too. Your spouse is your body. If no one ever hurts their body, no one should ever go down a lane that would hurt their spouse.
A chunk of marriages today are wobbly because of the unending cheating episodes. Cheating on your partner is like building an expensive mansion and tearing it down again with your hands. When we cheat on others, we lose their trust. If there’s no trust in a relationship, its future is predictably doomed.
Trust is a mine. Guard it with all you have. Without it, there’s no marriage!
If we lose the trust of our spouses, they tend to suspect us at the least opportunity. Their hearts are barely at peace. They will spend investments to track us. When couples lose trust, they can sometimes even harbor revenge against each other. Listen. Marriage is supposed to be a beautiful romance story… not an action movie of vengeance!
Cheating may seem fun but it will do more harm than good. Ironically, it is always the cheat who gets cheated in the end. Stolen water may seem sweet but in the end it may choke us. When all is said and done, we end up drowning in unnecessary scandals and sometimes, untold poverty.
The moral standards of our generation are quickly falling. Mind you, it all begins from the home. When parents are playing cheating games, they leave no exemplary footprints for their children to follow. Our children will only be a reflection of us.
The fight against corruption should begin in our homes. The moral standards we set there is the best anti-corruption campaign message we can preach to our children. Our stolen waters may be sweet to us but such a bitter experience for them.
While you may only be thinking of the short-term fun of cheating, spare some time to have a look at the bigger picture, too. Look at the bigger picture of the ill consequences on your family. Perceive the bigger picture of how flirting weakens society’s moral fiber.
Stolen waters may be sweet but no one may ever tell you that the seeds you sow in the dark… will bear fruit in the day. Though we may sow our seeds under the cover of darkness, the harvest will be bare for all to see. Chew on this!
The writer is a playwright and Chief Scribe of Scribe Communications (www.scribecommltd.com), an Accra-based writing company which provides all writing services.