As a child, we often went to visit relatives in another city. There, of course, I helped my relatives with household chores. One time we went with one of my uncles to the market for fruits. We bought a big bag of apples. My uncle carefully checked each fruit while filling it. But when we got home, it turned out that there were several rotten apples at the bottom. My uncle scratched his head thoughtfully and said, “That rascal still managed to slip me some rotten ones.” Then he slyly smiled and said, “But I’m no fool either. I slipped him one bad bill in the pack. So we’re even.” I thought about it and decided to clarify: “But when you gave the money, you didn’t know you were being cheated. So you wanted to cheat the seller anyway?” To which my uncle replied in surprise: “Well, yes. What’s wrong with that? Everyone spins as best they can and seeks benefits where they can. You see, I was careless and didn’t notice how he slipped me the rotten apples. Well done! He managed. And I shouldn’t have been so inattentive. He also should have counted the money well and kept his eyes open.” And then he added instructively: “This is life, son. If you don’t cheat, you won’t win.” Later, when I grew up, I met more people who lived by this principle. They tried to trick, deceive, pinch, and win an extra penny in relationships with business partners, friends, and relatives. They considered this behavior the norm and their conscience was calm. But here’s the interesting thing. None of these people became super rich and successful. Maybe there’s some kind of pattern in this?

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