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Published on March 28th, 2019 | by voxx

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Have you ever felt cheated?

Have you ever felt cheated? You might have been watching a film, for example, and 3/4 of the way through you find out the story you’ve been so carefully following is nothing more than a dream. I don’t know about you, but I often feel a little bit cheated in this kind of way. It’s such a cheap and lazy way to end a story.

Talking Pictures TV, found on Freeview, is a channel which broadcasts only old, vintage films, many that are in black and white. It runs for 24 hours with these films being shown back to back, meaning you can always catch up with something you may have missed. One film shown on Talking Pictures TV is 1952’s ‘Interrupted Journey’, starring Richard Todd. In the film, the main character has decided to leave his wife for another woman. They are on a train when he begins having second thoughts, and decides to pull the communication cord. At this point, he becomes a bit sleepy, gets up from his seat and stands in the gangway.

Terrified after this causes an accident, he jumps from the train and runs home, glancing backwards at the wreckage strewn everywhere, steam panting from the engine. His wife is at the door waiting to welcome him home, and he explains that someone pulled the communication cord, but he had no idea who or why. He is convinced the other woman he was with has been killed, and one hour in we’re fully convinced that these events were happening, that this was the story. However, he suddenly comes wakes up feeling groggy. It had all been a dream. What? Cheated. Seriously, what a lousy way to end a really good storyline. Lousy. That’s how we feel when we are the victim of someone trying to gain an unfair advantage over us.

The saying “cheaters never prosper” was first used in the USA around the 19th century, but is this really true? If I visit a bakery, pick up a cake and take it home to find 1/4 is missing, I will feel cheated, conned. Upon returning to the shop to enquire about this, the shopkeeper merely says, “we sometimes cut a slice out and in your case we felt 1/4 was about right.” Feelings and emotions arise from within. Surely they cannot be serious? I have paid for this, and yet I haven’t got the full product. While cheating sometimes does catch up with people, quite often it doesn’t and they do in fact prosper.

Being cheated out of anything leaves us with a deep sense of betrayal, making us vulnerable. It prompts a desire to take action, to complain, to have revenge. However, a clear path is now blocked with debris and barricades, so at this point we have no choice but to simply accept the situation, refocus, and not allow the cheat to derail us completely. Cheating is essentially akin to robbery, so let’s stop doing it.

- By Christopher Milsom


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