never quits and a quitter never wins. How many times has
each one of us heard that phrase while growing up? A very
logical statement if we stopped a moment to think about it.
For a winner to become a winner he cannot quit, for quitting
would prevent him from winning. And a quitter can never win
since he has dropped out. A very logical, yet very simple
statement. So simple though there is not much to be learned
from it. Not much in the sense that there is a lesson of
moral integrity to be found. Yet as youngsters we all heard
it whenever we engaged in any form of athletic competition.
Ah, yes, all in the spirit of competition. But what about
play was another subject. Not always taught in the field
though. Sure, there was, "Its not if you win or lose,
its how you play the game." That is a good assertion.
But if winning and being number one meant the most to us, and
most of us were taught winning and being number one was the true
spirit of competition and the "American Way" (even the
immortal Vince Lombardi once said that winning was everything),
than how you played was according to how badly you wanted to
win. Even if it meant disregarding fair play.
constitutes fair play though? For some of the lucky kids,
lucky enough to have parents and instructors of high moral
character, the lesson was taught; a cheater never wins and a
winner never cheats. Think about that for a moment. Not as
simple a statement as the forgoing. For as a lot of us have
learned over our years, sometimes a little deception can make the
difference between being number one or just being someone who
tried, but did not make it and was thus forgotten about. We
all remember the winners, but who can recall the name of the
person who took the silver medal next to Bruce Jenner's gold in
the Olympics? I thought so. Well, you will never see
his picture on a box of Wheaties. So as you can tell, being
number one definitely has its advantages. But why do people
overlook fair play to win at any cost?
up in America, you get to understand much about the civilization
it has generated. It is a competitive nation. In it,
competition is in every facet of life. We compete
with each other for just about everything; boyfriends,
girlfriends, a part in the school play, a spot on the football
team, a better grade in math, everyday games, acceptance into a
college, and even later in life, a job or a promotion within that
job. You cannot deny it, competition is to be found
wherever there is a free society.
do not want to be called a communist at this point, I am simply
pointing out that this exists. Why is it so hard for an
American to point out something that might not seem fair within
their own country? Whenever I say knowledge and good health
should be free for everyone to enjoy I get accused of being a
commie. And this is America? I am merely suggesting a
place to enhance something that is already exceptional.
world of high competition starts at an early age. You will
find it at any little league park where the parents of children
are all rooting for their kid to do better than the others.
"Did you see
Billy out there hit that home run? You Know, he just
started playing the game last month. Come on Billy, hit
another home run for mother and show those losers what you can
I am sure not every parent is as arrogant as that, but I think
you can get the gist of my meaning. Many little kids are
put through tremendous pressures by their parents, not only in
the sports arena but at others.
why didn't you get an A on your math test?"
sorry mom, I just can't get fractions down."
not good enough, Billy. You've got to do better."
ask, what is Billy going to do the next time he has a math test
and he has not grasped the concept of fractions? My
experience has been that the kid is going to cheat on that test.
We have all seen or done it in school--formulas written on our
hands or up our sleeves, on a small piece of paper neatly tucked
in the palms of our hands or inside the clear plastic tube of our
Bic pens. Face it; the rewards are far greater than the
risks we take.
the question comes to be, is little Billy really hurting anyone
by bringing a cheat sheet to his next test. Most may argue
no. And even though he should not do it, it still will not
prevent us from getting any sleep at night. Yet, others
will strongly argue against him doing such a thing.
us say that Billy cheated his way into college. His parents
always had dreams of their little boy becoming a doctor some day
and had been telling him so ever since he could understand and
speak the English language. Once in college, he knew that
his making it through to medical school would be the most
important task in his life. But Billy had some of the same
problems in college as he did in high school. Looking back
on those days he could remember how much easier it was to cheat
on a test, then to spend many rigorous hours studying to fully
comprehend, or just giving up and being content with not grasping
the concept. So like in high school, Billy gives in to the
has come and Billy has fore felt the dreams and wishes of his
parents. Not only did he graduate, but he was in the top
ten percent of his class--just making it by one onehundredth of a
point. Being in the top ten percent made it much easier for
him to secure a job that three other members of his class were
competing for. Has Billy hurt anyone yet? It seems to
me that had he not cheated he would not have even been in line
for that job and one of the other three would have gotten it.
people will disregard fair play in order to achieve what he or
she could not normally achieve. In Billy's case, the
pressure brought on by his parents drove him to cheat in order to
the latter half of August 1984, Jane and I were sitting in my
condo, smoking herb, and talking. My head was clouded with
thoughts of the job. Being a craps dealer at Bally's Park
Place was nothing I ever expected it to be. May-be I had
been naive. I was very upset as I sat on the couch with
her, just starring into space. I couldn't get it out of my
mind as I held back the anguish.
could sense something was wrong. "What's the matter,"
lie to me, I know you too well. Something is bothering
you. What is it?"
I told her, "I'm just a little tired from work."
not yourself tonight. Why don't you tell me what is wrong."
trust me, don't you?"
why don't you tell me what's bugging you?"
I..." I began to stutter, "I can't."
you can." She took hold of my hands, "Sometimes
it helps ease the pain when you tell your troubles to a friend
you trust and who cares about you."
burst out into tears and started crying. Jane's eyes opened
wide in amazement. She had no idea the hurt was going to be
so deep. I looked at her and said with tears, "The
dice games at work are fixed. They want me to steal from
people." Immediately, I turned my head away in
gave me a hug that must have lasted at least five minutes.
I kept crying as she held me in her arms trying to calm me down.
I finally pulled myself together, we began to talk again. I
told her it must have been the best kept secret in Atlantic City
and asked her never to repeat it. She asked me to quit.
I told her the predicament I was in and she understood.
From that night on, I could never look at her again without
remembering that night or knowing she was the only person who
knew and understood the pain I had to live with.