When I was growing up, my mother had a collection of sayings she would use to drill personal virtue into our young, impressionable minds. They were sayings like \u201cPractice what you preach,\u201d \u201cMoney doesn\u2019t grow on trees,\u201d \u201cCount your blessings,\u201d \u201cDon\u2019t follow the crowd,\u201d \u201cWipe that smile off your face or I\u2019ll wipe it off for you\u201d and the ever-popular, \u201cI\u2019ll wash your mouth out with soap.\u201d Then, there was the most memorable phrase of that era: \u201cIf everybody jumps off the bridge, are you going to jump too?\u201d Since I didn\u2019t see anyone jumping off a bridge, I wasn\u2019t entirely sure what the application was to my life. However, whenever she said that, my instinctive reaction was to respond promptly, \u201cNo, I\u2019m not going to.\u201d Who in his right mind wants to jump off a bridge? Now, I know \u2014 everybody. She used that saying whenever I whined, \u201cBut everybody is doing it!\u201d Everybody was partying. (And drinking and drugging). Everybody was going to see raunchy movies. (They still are.) Everybody was cheating. (Nothing new there.) Everybody was tossing around F-bombs. (Where\u2019s that bar of soap?) Like clockwork, she\u2019d say, \u201cIf everybody jumped off the bridge, would YOU?\u201d The truth is they all were jumping off the bridge, and they wanted me to join them. Very often, it was hard to say \u201cno\u201d because I wanted to be one of the crowd. But if everybody is doing something, you can bet your life it\u2019s not a smart thing to do. In our society, people are jumping off the bridge and calling it fun ... or the right thing to do. And they\u2019re pulling and pushing you to the railing and forcing you to jump with them. There\u2019s all hell to pay if you speak up and say it\u2019s wrong. With social media and peer pressure, it\u2019s really hard for people, young and old, to say, \u201cAhhh, nooo, I don\u2019t want to jump off the bridge ... have a great day.\u201d Instead, they give in to drug abuse, binge drinking, pornography, profanity, indecency, harassment, cheating on tests, cheating on taxes, cheating on their spouses, stealing, lying, and a lot of other socially acceptable bad behavior. Tragically, celebrities set the example in our society \u2014 the wrong example. Millions of people follow them on Twitter and Instagram and take what they say as gospel. With social media, it\u2019s easy for everyone to jump off the bridge ... at the same time. Here\u2019s a fundamental truth: If a celebrity is leading the charge off a bridge, DON\u2019T JUMP because at the end of the day, celebrities are very rich people and very famous people, but they usually aren\u2019t very good people even though they get a lot of media attention and pretend to be paragons of virtue ... until an old photo surfaces, showing them doing what they denounce. Harvey Weinstein is accused of sexually assaulting women for decades, and the entertainment industry looked the other way. Even after his misdeeds were unmasked, everyone in Hollywood said, \u201cWE never knew!\u201d That\u2019s an example of an entire industry jumping off the bridge. Let\u2019s not even bring up Jeffrey Epstein. And what about the workplace? Your boss and his boss and every other boss in the corporation or the news show or the government says, \u201cThis is what we\u2019re going to do.\u201d Suddenly, a little voice in the back of your head whispers, \u201cAhhh, that doesn\u2019t seem right.\u201d Most of us don\u2019t have the strength to stand up in the face of the mob or the corporate office and say, \u201cThat\u2019s wrong! I\u2019m not doing it!\u201d Instead, we go along sheepishly, covering our faces like perps coming out of the police station so no one will recognize us ... and then get pushed off the bridge. It happens every day. Look at the world around you. Does it look like a place where everybody is doing the right thing? That road to perdition is wide and heavily trafficked. That other road is narrow and deserted. Don\u2019t jump. If only we listened to our mothers! Joe Pisani can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.