We all know the old “under the table” trick. Easy money. right…? Paying for services without tax, cash on the barrel. It’s the way we ultimately get one over on Uncle Sam. The problem however is that breaking the law in any fashion is not the way to incite good behavior from your customers and your suppliers. Once people know that you’re okay bending the rules, they know that you’ll bend the rules on them as well. The example of breaking the law “here and there” because “everybody does it” is an unfortunate example. You see an honest person who follows the rules doesn’t get in as much trouble generally. Sure there is exceptions to the rules, but not when you know the whole story, I’ve learned.

When people watch you bend the rules, they’re pretty sure you’re not trustworthy and will do their very best to use others for work and long term relationships. If you personally do business like that and work with people that do the same, can you really count on your constituents to be honest and honorable in dealing with you? My grandpa used to cut grass for people in his retirement and they’d pay him cash. I asked him once if he paid tax on his earnings. He said to me, “Patrick, the law is the law and if you break the law you’re a criminal.” I suppose that comes under the heading of “right’s right and wrong ain’t never right, they’re gonna get him (the bad guy when watching TV)” which is also one of Grandpa’s sayings.

We talk about it all the time in these blogs. Taking care of what you have and being grateful for the monies you make. The problem for many, is that more is never enough. If that is your guideline to life, you’ll do anything to achieve more including breach your own integrity. Know this, to live by the law is very challenging, but when one does so his community and family finds him respected. To live without the law is very uncomfortable and a man’s and his family could be held in contempt more often than not by a community at large. It’s really not worth the price and in an IRS it could be way more costly than the original negligent opportunity paid out. People cut corners all the time and risk consequences. Why?

Simply put, because they can. As the old 1985 Dire Straights song says “money for nothin’, and chicks for free.” As we get older we know that’s definitely never true, money is not free and certainly neither is anything or anybody else. Every bad choice has a price. People who live a righteous life and retire to spend time with family, church and ultimately start a new career are happy. Whether you believe in God or not, the example of a good life can only be the reason your children learn correctly. Now, isn’t that a good reason to behave yourself? Albert Einstein wrote on a napkin a little saying I like. “A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness.” He gave that note to a Bellboy in Japan in 1922. The napkin recently sold at auction for $1.56 million. Words that are timeless and clearly priceless.

 

Original photo by Sidney Perry on Unsplash Edited by Pace
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