I find myself sitting here thinking today about Mr. Livestrong himself, the doping, false seven-time champ of the Tour de France. With all the buzz that Oprah has stirred it's hard not to. I know this does not seem like a topic that would be related to mommy or parenting - but hear me out (read me out??)
I'll admit that Lance had me fooled. But now that I sit and think about it, it just makes sense that there was something fake behind it. Seven times?? The most prestigious cycling race in the world and the same person won it SEVEN times?? Now it seems fishy, of course it does.
This is a sad world we live in. This man, an idol, the spokesperson for a very serious disease, and a role model for so many - adults.... and yes of course- children. How many children saw him win and strived to be like him? How many of them donned those yellow livestrong bracelets in support of his cause, who thought he was something wonderful? He not only cheated to win, he stole the title from someone else, hopefully someone more honest and deserving. Now he gets to be famous for his faults and like so many today, he gets his 15 minutes( or 3 hours apparently) to suck up to his audience, "explain" why he cheated. Personally, he had me at "cheated", or rather, he lost me. I watched the Fifth Estate for the coverage of the story, to see if it really were true. That was enough for me. I don't want to listen to him, don't want to tune in to watch his last-ditch effort to save face, and to make some more money off his choices and say he's sorry. Sorry there's real evidence against him and that he got caught, more like it.
I will say that I know he must have been under a great deal of pressure and sometimes we all cave under that pressure. But after the first title that he cheated to steal, he should have wised up and stopped. Instead he waited until he had won so many that he was a superstar, and denied all suspicions adamently, even with new proof surfacing as years went by. What kind of message did he expect to send? Right, my hero.
Now to tie it in with being a parent. Are we going to allow this kind of behavior from an idol to be okay in the eyes of our children? Are we going to help them erase their mistakes instead of facing them to get ahead in life? Are we going to allow them to cheat - or worse - help them do it and cover their tracks? Or are we going to raise honest boys and girls to turn into honorable men and women who actually know that telling the truth and doing things honestly is actually far better than cheating their way to the top? It scares me to think that too often when there are successes, there is something shady along the road to reach that success. While this is surely not true in every instance of success, I do see a major drop in morals here in the world. The world that I just brought a little boy into, and it doesn't seem fair. I want more for my little guy and personally, I don't want to hear about how Lance Armstrong lied to the world or why he is worth listening to.