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Letter: Honesty should be expected, not praised when it occurs

Honesty should be expected, not praised when it occurs

I found the Aug. 29 letter, “We’re not born to hate, it’s something we learn” puzzling. Was the writer’s stepdaughter’s boss really “dumbfounded” that she reported her overpay? After all, an employer is someone you are going to see every day you are in his employ. The fact is, she would have been eventually exposed if she kept silent. I question the writer’s basis for her decision: being “carefully taught.” (I believe she did what she had to do to ensure job security.)

Scientific studies have shown that babies are inclined to do the right thing before they are a year old. They are born with benevolence and empathy. We may like to think we “teach them carefully,” but science has also shown that two types of people steal. One is so haughtily arrogant that he believes he is entitled because he is so much smarter. The other feels cheated by society and believes his dishonesty is warranted.

In judging such a situation for its merit, we have to look at the choice one doesn’t take. Giving kudos for giving the money back to her employer, rather than risk her job if she kept the money, doesn’t deserve a headline in The News.

Has our society really sunk so low that such an action that benefits the doer gets recognized?

Catherine Breen

West Seneca

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