Wake Up to the Corrupting Effects of Compromise

When I was 22 years old, I worked at a small company where an older salesman bragged to me about how he defrauded customers. I raised serious concerns with him, and it got back to the company owner, who one day decided to give me some fatherly, sage advice. He said, "You know, when I was your age, I also saw things in black and white. But as I've gotten older, I've learned that things are mainly shades of grey." It was true that I was young, inexperienced, and naive in many things. I'm now close to the age that company owner was back then. I better understand the layered complexities, ambiguities, and difficulties of life. I can think of a number of things that I’m not nearly as dogmatic about as I was back then.

But fraud isn't one of them.

The Danger of Dimmed Vision

At age fifty, it's as clear to me as it was at 22 that the owner's "shades of grey" spiel wasn't sagacity; it was self-justifying, compromise-covering baloney. The fraud wasn't grey; it was straight-up stealing and lying. If the defrauded customer had been in on our chat, the "grey" would have looked quite black to him, as it would have to a judge had legal action been pursued.

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