I was glad when I heard that Lance Armstrong was finally going to admit to doping all these years. I was also glad when I learned that Gandhi was a racist, fighting for the status of indians in South Africa to be elevated to that of white colonizers and far above that of black Africans. I was thrilled when I learned about Mozart’s drinking, philandering, and self obsession. When I learned the ugly truth about Mother Theresa I dug furiously for more dirt and I was not disappointed. I was giddy when I learned that Isaac Newton was an alchemist and that Albert Einstein had no fashion sense. I enjoy pointing out to people that in Matthew 10:34 the prince of peace says “I come not to bring peace, but to bring a sword.”
I love to watch heroes fall.
But not because I am sadistic, I don’t enjoy defamation because I want people to be unhappy. It’s because no person deserves to be worshipped. Good things deserve praise and bad things deserve scorn. Just because Jesus was a warmonger in Matthew 10:34 doesn’t devalue the golden rule as he taught it. Just because Newton tried to make gold from lower elements doesn’t disprove the calculus he invented. Mozart’s bad behavior doesn’t detract in any way from the genius of his music. Gandhi’s Indian patriotism came in handy when he went back to India. Mother theresa…nope. I’ve got nothing.
But the fact that Lance Armstrong cheated to win the Tour de France doesn’t detract at all from the fact that Livestrong has raised $470 000 000 and most of it has gone to programs to support programs and services for cancer survivors. Now people are asking for their money back? Because the celebrity that started Livestrong turned out to be a cheater you have decided that cancer is not a worthwhile cause? I can think of nothing more despicable.
I understand how you feel. You thought he was an honest, down-to-earth guy who also happened to be one of the most gifted athletes ever born. Now your bubble is burst. No one is perfect. Everybody makes mistakes. Heroes are Figments! Like puffs of hot air from the lips of a ghost in the shadow of a unicorn’s dream. (Thanks Dean Pelton) Only when you stop worshipping people can you learn to look at the good things people do as good and the bad things as bad. That’s all that matters.
So stop wailing about Lance Armstrong and betrayal and dishonesty. He didn’t owe you anything. He did a selfish thing, lied about it, came clean and faced the consequences. That has to be the most universally understandable and just thing ever to happen to every person ever born. He also raised a butt-load, a heaping dollop, a elephant-sized steaming mound of money for a good cause. If you want your donation back, you’re worse than he is.
And on a linguistic note, “meteoric rise” is an oxymoron. Meteors are pieces of space debris that fall into the earth’s atmosphere. All meteors hurdle through the atmosphere until they either burn up or collide with a planet. There is no rising involved. I’ll let you extend the new metaphor as far as you see fit.