WC Fields once suggested a thing worth having is a thing worth cheating for.
Not a particularly nice thing to say and you'd hate to think it's true.
But look at the number of athletes in the NRL pondering their B drug sample and you've got to think he might have had a point.
Sociologists say humans are opportunistic by nature, which any pre-school teacher will tell you means naughty, and how often do we mix naughty up with nice. Or at least able to be swept under the carpet ... of lies.
Putting aside these rather judgemental associations, cheating can start at home from a young age.
When I'm playing Scrabble for instance, and realise I've taken 8 tiles instead of 7, and had a peak putting my letter back in the bag.
The most important part of cheating as far as I can make out from politics, sport or business, is not admitting to it.
Unless you're self-sabotaging, which I'm not because even though I sometimes might get a sneak peak at someone else's letters, I rarely act on it effectively. Enough. You've gotta trust me on that.
And at this stage of the column, I just want to put it out there that "sneaking a peak in Scrabble" might have become an extended metaphor for other grey areas of human endeavour I'm still coming to grips with.
Growing up, all my sports coaches from tiny tots onwards urged me to play not only to the spirit of the game, but more importantly to the whistle.
This caused consternation in many a junior mind when the ref missed a blatant infringement and we all stopped playing.
Everyone, except that more worldly member of the opposition who played on and scored a goal and won the game etc.
Not long after that we'd get a stern talking to from the coach about 'things worth having', like a winning attitude, and the importance of not cheating specifically, but a nebulous concept called "gamesmanship".
It was confusing.
Legendary Australian batsman Adam Gilchrist tried to clear it up by famously declaring he would always walk if he thought he was out.
Just-as-legendary Australian batsman Steve Waugh countered by saying he would always wait for the umpire to give him the finger because you never know, you might get away with it.
That was confusing too in that some people called not walking cheating, while others said it was the Australian way.
It took sand-paper gate to get a black and white perspective on truly unconscionable conduct in sport.
Which all pales as we gaze around the world today, marking things like Reconciliation Week and witnessing the riots in the US.
It's worth noting who's really being cheated and what's really worth having because cheats aren't supposed to prosper.