Dishonesty is a Sin of the Age

Our 21st century ears hear you, brother editor. From the March 5, 1908 Skidmore New Era (Skidmore, Missouri), page 4:

Dishonesty is a Sin of the Age.

Many men and women are indulging tastes they cannot afford and they are finally compelled to steal what belongs to other people. Many a man and woman is riding in an automobile that is not paid for.

Much dishonesty is due to the fact that some men would rather steal than work.

The age is characterized by its rush for material wealth. Everybody wants to get rich and get rich quick, to get rich honestly if possible, but get rich at any cost. The old-fashioned virtue of honesty is discounted in many quarters. In many ways men are tempted to be dishonest. Men, especially young men, are tempted to be dishonest in their appearance. They appear what they are not. They want to appear rich when they are poor. Many a youth dresses far beyond his means because he wants to wear better clothes than he is able to pay for.

A man is essentially dishonest who owes his tailor for the clothes he wears. When a suit of clothes can be bought for five dollars, no man has a right to wear better clothes which are not paid for.

Men are tempted to be dishonest in their speech. Many a man lies when he makes an engagement that he does not keep at the appointed time, and in making promises which he never fulfills.

There are grosser forms of dishonesty, as shown in lying in business and misrepresenting goods.

There are three fruitful sources of dishonesty — laziness, extravagance, bad habits. Much dishonesty is due directly to the fact that some men would rather steal than to work. Many men and women are indulging tastes they cannot afford and they are thus finally compelled to steal, directly, what belongs to other people.

There is nothing in the commercial world today at so great a premium and in such demand as an absolutely honest man who can be trusted without fear or suspicion. The highest places of emolument and honor are waiting for men of clean habits and absolute honesty. I knew a man at the head of one of the great institutions in America who holds his place because men say of him: “He would lose his right arm rather than be dishonest.” — Sel.

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