“I’ve asked for this meeting, only the two of us having a nice and polite conversation, in order to see what your thoughts regarding a certain someone are”, said this odd and gloomy fellow, as he sat down in my office.
“Straight to the point, I see!”, I replied with a grim smile, while being ironic.
I disliked the person seating opposite to me and, on top of it all, I knew perfectly well to whom he was referring, hence the serious facial expression and sarcasm.
But, duty calls and so, I carried on.
“Hope it means we are not going to waist each other’s time.” I said while sighing.
Oh boy, was I in for a treat!
“I presume you are referring to someone that is currently facing fraud charges, are you not?”.
He made a slight bending forward of his head, as a clear sign of accordance.
“If so, even though he has not yet been found guilty of anything, I believe him to be corrupt and dishonest.
Furthermore, I loathe corruption. I see it as a cancer, a disease that corrodes the very fabric of mankind. Why do you ask?”, I said abruptly.
He had a smile on his face, as if he was expecting that answer.
It felt like I was back in college having a debate with one of my professors. But this time, nothing of value was being discussed.
This guy was clearly a veteran. A recruiter to his cause. A man on a mission.
“If you do not mind me saying – replied the sinister character – you are still young and sometimes, young people… hum… how can I say this? Well, they tend not to apply logic regarding certain matters.
They tend to be… hum… passionate about it.
Don’t get me wrong, passion is a good thing, but sometimes it has no place, like I said before, when it comes to certain matters so… hum… what I mean to say is that, I’ve been around for quite some time now. Conducted businesses in a lot of different countries.
So, when it comes down to this it is only a matter of being able to prove if someone is dishonest or not. If you are smart enough, no one is able to prove you are corrupt, know what I mean? No offense!”.
Oh, my word! I was starting to feel nausea but, somehow, still managed to keep a straight face.
“None taken. But I do have to say that you lost me completely with that line of reasoning.
Where are we going with this conversation?
And, by the way, seeing that you brought it up, didn’t yourself, Sir, faced fraud charges before?”.
“That is precisely my point!”, he said in what it seemed a Eureka moment for the fellow.
“I did and nobody was able, in a court of law, to find me guilty, hence…”, he carried on with enthusiasm, while throwing a wink at me.
Besides not being articulated or assertive, I truly genuinely believe he thought he was getting through to me.
Nonetheless, I had enough of it.
“You will excuse me but, I feel this conversation must come to an end.
I am aware no one was able to prove you are dishonest and corrupt. Maybe you are, maybe you are not. That is beside the point.
I truly believe to be impossible to prove someone is honest.
So, that being said, where does that it leaves us?
So, if you do not mind, you can see yourself out!”.
The fellow promptly got up, flustered, and, without saying a word, left the room.
The meeting was over.
Some time later, the person we were referring to in that peculiar conversation, was sentenced to prison on fraud charges.
When it comes to corruption and honesty, for me it is really simple.
They are closely related although being different.
Because they walk hand in hand, they appear to be two sides of the same coin.
Nevertheless, you have a choice: You are either one or the other!
You can choose to be either honest or corrupt.
As simple as that!
Another tale of nowadays.