Nirav Learns About Cheating
Nirav: Today, I hit the jackpot at school. I got five arithmetic papers back, and they all have the l00’s marked on them and each one has a special smiley sticker, too.
Bina: I’m so happy and proud of you. I wish that I could do that. Wasn’t it just last week when you were having so much trouble with your addition?
Nirav: You have that right. I never did learn addition! I started wearing these magic sunglasses and they gave me perfect grades.
Bina: Did you practice a lot?
Nirav: No, not too much.
Bina: I want to do something special for you, since I am so proud of you. I know you had to really study hard to make those five l00’s.
Nirav: I don’t want you to do that Bina. It was nothing.
Bina: You deserve a special gift. I want to give you my musical Mickey Mouse watch that plays two neat tunes.
Nirav: I can’t accept the watch, Bina. I really don’t deserve it, honest!
Bina: Nirav, you did a lot of studying and you deserve it. That was a big job for anyone to do.
Nirav: No, it wasn’t.
Bina: Yes it was. I missed one question. Nirav, what is 8 + 8?
Nirav: Let me think for a minute. Oh, yes, it’s l5.
Bina: No, let’s try another problem. What is 6 + 6?
Nirav: Uhhh,…..I think it’s l4.
Bina: You must be nervous. What is 2 + l?
Bina: 4? You don’t know your math facts at all.
Nirav: Don’t you think I know that?
Bina: How on earth did you make five l00’s on your papers?
Nirav: The answers popped right before my eyes, it’s like they came from outer space.
Bina: I bet your sunglasses had something to do with the answers popping right in front of your eyes.
Nirav: Do you believe me?
Bina: No, did you cheat? Did someone else help you?
Nirav: I am so embarrassed and ashamed.
Bina: Cheating is wrong. I don’t understand why you did it.
Nirav: I was only borrowing the answers from my friends.
Bina: Cheating is not borrowing from your friends. You took the answers without permission. That is called stealing.
Nirav: There isn’t an easier way to get the answers. So I will have to keep on cheating. Do you understand?
Bina: Your teacher thinks you know the addition facts and you really don’t. Now what are you going to do?
Nirav: Keep on cheating. That is what I’ll do.
Bina: Your teacher and your friends will not ever be able to trust you. If you cheat at school, then you will start to cheat at other places. You will go on to other things you do. You will grow up to be a big cheater.
Nirav: No one can see my eyes whenever I’m wearing dark sunglasses. No one in the world knows I cheat, but you.
Bina: That isn’t true, you have forgotten someone.
Bina: You forgot the Arihant Bhagwans. Arihant Bhagwan sees everything we do. You are taking things that aren’t really yours. Don’t you remember we learned that we get sins (pap) when we do such things?
Nirav: Oh boy! I forgot about sins. I do not want to cheat anymore. I do not want to do things that bring me more pap. Maybe because of my past sins, now I am unable to learn.
Bina: I am happy that you realized this yourself. Let’s start by taking the smiley stickers back to your teacher.
Nirav: Do I really have to?
Bina: You certainly do. You have to be honest with everyone, including yourself.
Nirav: I am going to ask my teacher if she will help me in math.
Bina: Just don’t wear those dumb sunglasses.
Nirav: I guess it isn’t fair to get answers that are not mine, and besides I need to make good grades on my own. Will you still let me have the Mickey Mouse watch that plays two neat tunes?
Bina: No, but I have another present for you.
Nirav: What is that?
Bina: Flash cards to help you learn your addition facts. Let’s go home now.