Narrative Essay – When Once I Compromised My Principles
The moral principle, as defined in “What are moral principles anyway and when are they useful?” by Sherman, is “any consideration that decides how you’ll interpret and respond to a situation.” It governs how we handle ourselves and our day-to-day interactions with others. Situations arise, however, when we get to pick the wrong choices and do things though we know are wrong. I have my share of it, too, if I may share it with you.
My former work required us to be out of the office most of the time and be at our substations. It was an effort to bring our services closer and more accessible to our target recipients. Everyone had always been doing it religiously until one day. A co-worker suggested that the team instead spend the day’s working hours resting in her house rather than going to the scheduled work area for that day. We knew it wasn’t the proper thing to do, but the entire team ended up going there. We got away with it unnoticed at the office.
It did not feel right, knowing it was not proper. We were being paid for those hours to work, but we were somewhere else resting. It was cheating. I was vocal about it but eventually also went along simply for the reason of trying to blend in with the group.
The days after that, we went back to working honestly just as we used to do. But then, as weeks passed, that first cheating had been repeated a second time, and a third one. It had always been heavy on the conscience, but I tried brushing the guilt aside again for the sake of friendship. Then the team got caught. Random monitoring saw us out of the post.
Interrogations by our superiors followed. We had no choice but to admit to our faults. The lie was not worth standing up for. What happened had been a lapse of judgment, of value. Memoranda were issued. We tried to take the following days at the office as normally as can be despite the shame.
Time had been a friend. It eventually made all the hurt, and all the shame fade away. Forgiveness had set in, and we were again able to regain the trust that our office had once given us.
Lessons are learned. If something does not feel good, listen to your gut feeling as stated in work entitled “A Confession,” “Wrong does not cease to be wrong because of the majority share in it” (Tolstoy). We are good persons inside, and the more are we determined to keep it that way.
Sherman, Jeremy. “What are moral principles anyway and when are they useful?”
Psychology Today, 11 Aug. 2010,
Tolstoy, Leo. “A Confession.” Goodreads,
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