Dear Reader,

I feel the need to write this blog because there is much misunderstanding in our country about the way the world works.

Until this past year, I have never had to struggle to make ends meet on the level that I have. Most people tell me that I should “double dip”. They tell me that “everyone does it” and its the way to get by in life. I should earn money “under the table” and collect my benefits. It almost makes sense. A lot of people feel justified in acting unethically because they believe that the government acts unethically — the ends justify the means. It is also true that the government is notorious for removing benefits suddenly and throwing people into a hardship while they are getting back on their feet. I have seen it and experienced it first hand.

I don’t believe that someone else’s lack of ethics should dictate that I become unethical. I believe that the ends dictate the means. At the end of each day, I have to face myself in the mirror and be able to sleep with whatever decisions I made in life. If my integrity means that I struggle more then that is the price I am willing to pay for something that is priceless.

I am currently collecting Unemployment and I worked part time for the first time this last week. My part-time pay currently comes very close to rivaling my unemployment pay. Although I am currently self-employed and I could have easily gotten away with not reporting my income until I was certain I was on my feet, my integrity got the best of me.

With nervous fingers, I called to file my weekly benefits. I reported my earnings after deducting expenses and waited with baited breath for the recording to tell me what was due to happen. I fully expected to be cut off.

Much to my shock and joy, my benefits were reduced by much less than what I earned last week.

I am now bringing in more money than before all the while acting with honesty and integrity.

It works.

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