“He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and a third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world’s believing him.” —Thomas Jefferson
“The public cannot be too curious concerning the characters of public men.” —Samuel Adams
Sam Adams and Tom Jefferson had it right. What one does in your “private life” does matter! Building the right kind of character begins early and must be pursued diligently for many years in order to produce the right kind of public and private character. The kind that will be faithful in marriage and on the job. The kind of character that will hate hypocrisy and not prosecute in others what it allows in themselves.
Training the habits of mind and life that produce good character and happy lives, rather than the sadness that the hypocritical character of Elliott Spitzer has brought into his family’s life, if neglected, will be at a great cost. In this case, likely the cost of a marriage, family, vocation, and respect.