Thursday, March 21, 2013

Somebody Is Always Watching

To my son Tommy,

There have been scientific studies proving that just the thought of someone watching you makes you change your actions.  Usually this change is for the better though on the rare occasion it flusters someone and makes them perform worse.  But for the most part, if someone is watching you try harder, you behave better, you make better choices.

I have watched this effect in many different avenues of life.  I have watched it change the behavior of employees, I have watched it change the behavior of bar customers, I have watched it change the behavior of children, and I have watched it change the behavior of yours truly.

Just the threat of someone possibly watching is enough to make someone be good.  Put up a fake security camera and people will be more cautious and avoid trouble, unless of course they figure out and then the behavior turns to revenge for being deceived.  Even if the camera is not fake, if people figure out that no one ever watches from the other end, that no one cares enough to check it out, they will once again act with impunity.  One transgression that seemingly goes unnoticed will lead down a slippery slope to more and more of the same.

Here is a secret though, someone is always watching.  There is always a pair of eyes soaking in all your actions.  In my case often this set of eyes belongs to a four year old mimic  And instead of hiding from the judgement of these innocent eyes, I try to put all my actions and all my self into these letters.  It keeps me honest and it keeps me behaving myself knowing that in 15 or 20 years I will have your eyes once again judging me with a new perspective.

Even more importantly, you should strive to do the right thing and be the best person you can be even if it seems no one in the world is watching and it seems that no one in the world cares.  The test of a man's integrity is what he does when no one is looking and he can totally get away with it.  But if you are completely alone, someone is watching and He cares.

Sincerely with love from your dad,

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