Anyone remember this eighties game? (It might still be around.) We used to have regular game nights back in the day — mostly Trivial Pursuit, sometimes Pictionary and other games, including Scruples. It’s a game that presents various ordinary ethical situations, to which the players respond what they would do. Then, the other players turn up an angel or devil card, representing whether they believe the person’s answer or not.
We had one friend, honest to a fault, who always got an angel card. She would not even share paid-for computer software. And another friend who, or so it seemed, would do anything to make her own life easier, including parking in handicapped spaces or not go back into a store to pay for something her child took without her knowledge. No one ever believed her and she always got a devil card. Most of the players fell somewhere in the middle of what others considered right and wrong, what is okay to do versus what is off limits.
Scruples, it seems, are very subjective.
My parents taught me early on the consequences of dishonesty. Which included stealing from others. I am grateful for that lesson. It stayed with me for the rest of my life. I admit that I have breached that code on occasion, but never without a twinge of conscience, which many times I have made right.
My granddaughter has a good heart. I see her always thinking of others. She loved our recent excursion of choosing names off the Salvation Army tree of giving at Safeway and buying gifts for less fortunate kids. Once she understood what we were doing, she wholeheartedly embraced the idea (even though I paid for it, which I was happy to do) and asked if we could do this every year.
Back to scruples, and honesty, and what they mean in real life.
Many years ago, when I was hanging with my granddaughter, she said that lying was okay if it was for a good reason. I know she got that from her dad, who has lied many times for what he thought were “good reasons,” mostly to save himself. I told her that the only good reason was to spare someone’s feelings. And even then, it might not be right. As in a friend asks you if an outfit looks good and it doesn’t. Are you helping them by telling them what they want to hear?
My sister is in the hospital again — she had a knee-replacement a few weeks ago, and had been struggling with that — and recently suffered a hiatal hernia, which has been repaired surgically. The surgery went fine and she will be back home by Wed. I’ve been visiting her kitty and all’s well there.
My point in reporting this is that I have my sister’s handicap parking placard in case I have to transport her. Wherever we went to park, at Safeway and Walmart, my granddaughter reminded me that we could park closer, use my sister’s placard. I told her that wouldn’t be right, since we don’t need it. She said, “lots of people do it.” I replied that they are “mentally handicapped.”