Good evening all.
I thought about calling it "The Evil that Men Do" or "Quest for Redemption." Nothing quite fit.
Several years back, people who conduct surveys conducted one on who the greatest athlete of all time happens to be. The majority of votes went to Tiger Woods. Whatever his personal failings are, and they are many, he is a gifted golfer. That is clear. Still, at the time, I did not think it was the right answer. I thought that the right answer was Lance Armstrong.
At the time, my reasoning was quite sound. He won the Tour de France seven years in a row. It is the ultimate test of endurance. No one questions that. As well, we add in the improbable comeback story from cancer, and all that the organization he founded, Livestrong, has done for cancer research. That was a true athlete.
We have watched that come apart over the last year or so, culminating with his interview this week on Oprah.
The good: he did come back from cancer. For the vast majority of us, unless the performance enhancers involved a cape, even to think of riding in the Tour de France is at best a distant fantasy. He came back from cancer to do that. Even with illegal help, it is still quite a feat. He started a foundation for cancer research. He visited kids in hospitals. His foundation's website is great for nutritional information. He made cycling exciting in North America.
The bad: he did drugs. He lied about it. He torched people who dared to accuse him of it. He both actively and inactively encouraged the members of his teams to do drugs. He lied under oath. He accepted other people's money while living a lie they helped to support. That is stealing.
He may now go to jail. Whatever money he has earned will likely be taken from him in fines and lawsuits.
The question that I will ponder for a long time is this: does the good outweigh the bad? If he helped save even one life, if he gave one person hope of life beyond a hospital bed, we cannot discount him. On the other hand, to destroy people we cannot accept.
I know how to title this: "Fallen from Grace."
My friends, the most important thing in your house hangs in your washroom. It is a mirror. It cannot lie. At the beginning of the day, at the end of the day, and several times in the middle, we must look in it. We should be certain that we like what we see looking back.
Good night all.