If It Happened And Nobody Saw, Did It Really Happen?

There are so many “cute” sayings along the lines of the title of this post, such as:

  • If it happens in Vegas, it stays in Vegas.
  • If a tree falls in the woods and there is nobody there to hear, does it make a sound?
  • If a man speaks while in the woods and his wife isn’t around, is he still wrong?
  • Does the light really go out in the fridge, after the door is closed?

Most recently, during our time at Moosehead Lake, I read the following quote on a bag of Tostitos chips:

  • On Double Dipping: If no one catches you it never really happened.


Not to mention, a very POOR choice of “seemingly cute” words to share with society. Not cool!

Let’s take this concept (if nobody saw, it never really happened) to a whole new level.

I recently read an article about an online service that provides married people the opportunity to “discreetly” hook-up with other married individuals, to cheat. Their motto: Life is short. Have an affair. The article covers a scandal which is currently unfolding, involving hackers who are threatening to expose personal details of the company’s 37 million customers.


When will people learn? If it happens and nobody “saw”, it still did happen!!!

This reality is just as true online as it is offline.

There is ALWAYS a trail of evidence.

Whether we are ultimately exposed, or not, it happened.

And, there are ALWAYS consequences.

The consequences could be external, in the material world, including: mild to severe embarrassment, broken relationships, job loss, arrest, health issues, financial implications, etc.

There are also internal consequences: we must live with ourselves and be able to sleep well at night, all without the need of artificial stimulation (prescription or non-prescriptions meds, drugs or alcohol).

Many years ago, when Cindy and I lived in Georgia, we had just exited a busy Home Depot with new goods for our southern home. As we approached the car, we noticed an item (I don’t recall what it was) in the bottom of our carriage. One that we had not paid for. We could have easily loaded it, along with our purchased items, into the car and gone home without incident.

As annoying as it was to have to return to the store to make things right, we immediately decided to go back in and pay for the item.

Some would say “Why on earth would you do that?

To that I would respond: What do you do when you realize that you were over-charged, or charged for an item that you didn’t purchase?”

Most would respond to this situation by immediately bringing it to the attention of the business establishment to settle the matter. Most businesses are good enough about it and more than happy to make things right.

What about us? Can’t we be “good enough” about a similar situation, in reverse, to make it right?

We have found that, in so doing, we can feel much better about pursuing our own case, when we are over-charged. As an example…There have been more than a few occasions when Cindy has arrived home from the grocery store to find that something she had paid for was not among her bounty. Upon returning to the store (hours, even days later) she pleads her case and, with NO PROOF, is able to get the refund she sought, or the item she had expected to be in her bag.

This, because of the balance she has created. That is, they know that she is just as quick to point out when she has been under-charged…

That is the way to live 🙂

On the flip side…Realize that, even the most serene of settings can become hell on earth, if bad decisions we have made (seen or unseen by others) are eating us up inside.


View of Beaver Cove, Moosehead Lake, from the shore of the home we recently visited.

Why, oh why, would we want to smear such settings on this beautiful planet by running an internal dialog repeatedly covering what we know to have been wrong decisions and/or behaviors in our life?

It just isn’t worth it!

In closing, a much better set of mottos to offer society might be:

  • If it happens and nobody sees, I will! And, I must live with it.
  • Life is short. Good choices contribute to a good life.

All the best!

3 thoughts on “If It Happened And Nobody Saw, Did It Really Happen?

  1. beaverfood says:

    I like a quote, similar to these thoughts, that goes something like, “do what is right, even when nobody is looking”.

  2. Geoff says:

    Hear Hear! One might also consider “Do unto others as you wish others to do unto you”

  3. Craig Bailey says:

    Hi Geoff,

    That is probably the most important one 🙂

    Thank you!

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