Thursday, June 24, 2004

It's Sad When Honesty Makes It to The News

I think it is much like "damning with faint praise" when simple acts of honesty makes it to the news.

Today in my favorite newspaper is a photo of a government bureaucrat getting awarded for returning something that did not belong to him/her.

If the award was done by an independent organization, say my favorite newspaper, it would have been a commentary that being honest is spectacular in our country and should merit special attention.

However, since it was the head of the bureau who was presenting the award it would appear to say that the head is proudly announcing to the whole world that not everyone of his/her subodinates is dishonest.

This happens to be one of those government departments where employees have learned to assert with sanctimonious face that they have not enriched themselves in office. What they received from the public were gifts, they would chorus. They did not demand those gifts. They were given to them. Or left in their opened drawers by people who were following up something in their office.

These people have learned to live with their conscience by donating to their favorite charities, church fund raisings or outreach activities. Actually they usually belong to the unofficial Church of the country where their donated mammons get them some religious absolution.