Fostering Integrity, or My Kids Are Also Doomed

My oldest daughter did not wish to go to camp this summer and so had to find something else to occupy her. She did contact some people who wanted camp counselor assistants, but they generally wanted someone older. So I encouraged her to pursue the mother's helper job that only required a minimum age of 12. She met with the mother and child and agreed to accept the job. While the pay is lower than I had anticipated, the mother says she did check the going rate, and I really believe she is not trying to take advantage in any way. Ok, so we confirmed on both ends. Just a day later, my daughter got called by one of the people she had called earlier. Apparently that job is still open. But my daughter had just committed herself to someone who is now counting on that. So I told her she has to tell that to the caller. You see, we are handicapped by integrity. On the other hand, a true bred macher would hold her cards and ask this woman how much the job pays and use her other job offer as a negotiating tool to work out the best deal for herself. The macher would have no qualms about going back on her word to the mother who would now be stuck, for looking out for number one is what macherhood is all about. You just have to step on some heads to get to the top. Integrity weighs you down in this climb and so should be dispensed with.
I know the values I hold for my children will not really help them get ahead in life, in the usual sense. I don't believe it will even win them more respect, for machers tend to get the lion's share of that in our society. They even get into the "top" yeshivas even when more dedicated students are told there is no room for them based on their status and money. But virtue is its own reward, and you have to do what's right because it is right and not because it will win you anything quantifiable in worldly terms. So my children appear to be as doomed as my husband and myself not to go far in life, burdened as we are by integrity rather than wealth.


Popular Posts