Thursday, February 14, 2013

Who Do You Root For When Heroes Keep Falling?

Humans are just that, human. We go through lives meandering through an epic process of trial and error. We put pressure on ourselves to be the best. We feel the pressure from others. We try. Sometimes we rise to greatness and are hailed as a hero. Other times we cheat to get there and when the truth comes out, another modern-day superhero is put to rest.

I'm writing this on Valentine's Day. What I'd prefer to be a post about true love, loving everyone and generally being happy as a clam, is actually a social commentary on our heroes who have fallen from grace.

You have Tiger Woods, one of the greatest golfers of all time. His winning streak and acclaim is tarnished by his addiction to sex. The man was knocked off his golf pedestal and is trying to rebuild his life and image. The world uttered a collective tsk tsk.

You have Lance Armstrong, the miracle biker who beat cancer and won Tour de France competitions, smashed world records and became a legend...that is until the truth about his doping habits came to the surface. Every title was stripped, every award taken back. Now he is nothing but a former star in an empty award room left to think and re-think about his actions. Despite the pressure, society would always agree that it is better to admit defeat than cheat your way to the top just to live up to this ideal image bestowed upon you.

Politicians like David Petraeus, Anthony Wiener (unfortunate name), Bill Clinton and John Edwards lose political credibility because of sex scandals and affairs. Was the lust, love, sex really worth destroying your career and creating this giant black streak against your professional record?

Legends such as Joe Paterno spent their lives building a legacy only to have it stripped away by a covered child-abuse scandal and to add insult to injury, succumb to cancer after being fired from their long standing job.

Then you have Olympian Oscar Pistorius who 'allegedly' shot his girlfriend in the early morning hours of Valentine's Day. A hero for amputee survivors everywhere, Pistorius gave the world a hero to root for. Overcoming all odds and becoming the first amputee athlete to compete in able body Olympics may be his biggest accomplishment. He ponders this as he sits in a jail cell awaiting his fate.

What causes our heroes to fall from grace? Why do these notable individuals who millions of people look up to, make the gravest of mistakes? Its one thing to fall. Its another thing to fail. But to intentionally make incredibly poor decisions in the moment comes with a steep price: dwelling on said decisions for the rest of your life and losing your credibility.

It is such a shame.

Until next time...

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