Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Redemption

This Thursday, Lance Armstrong's interview with Oprah is being shown.  I'm not an Oprah person, but I am looking forward to the interview.  As we've all heard, he's finally admitting to using performance enhancing drugs.  Not really a surprise to anyone.  Cycling is a pretty dirty sport, so my opinion is he still won 7 Tours.  More important in the scheme of things is the work of Livestrong.  The organization has been a great source for me as I pedal my way through the Tour de Cancer.  I think Lance was so vocal about his cancer and showing that you can live an exceptional life after your diagnosis.  From my point of view, and I had this before I was diagnosed, he almost made it ok to be a cancer survivor. But that's just me.

But what's interesting is that he is getting blasted by the sports media. Blasted to pieces. I'm a bit perplexed.  Ray Lewis, a linebacker for the Ravens, is retiring after this season and he's being treated as a god.  Nothing wrong with that.  But what about his involvement in the stabbing murder of someone about a decade ago?  Apparently he''s done so much good since then, that all is forgiven.  That's all fine and dandy. There was no evidence to show he was directly involved in the murder, but hey, who really knows.

And this is what perplexes me. What makes something forgivable and what isn't forgivable?  I guess Lance bullied a whole lot of people to maintain his lie over the years. He absolutely trashed a lot of people.   If you combine his work with Livestrong with his current apology tour, should he be forgiven? I don't know, I'm just asking.

I guess there is a fine line between what's ok and what isn't.  BIll Clinton, Eliot Spitzer have both rebounded from their missteps to again be well respected. Can Anthony Weiner be far behind?

But what about us regular people? I'm pretty open on this blog. Pretty open, but not totally open.  In many ways, I think cancer has made my life an open book.  When you're in a hospital hooked up to crazy machines and peeing into a jug while people are all around you, you realize that you've got to be ok with it. And why not? It's just life. I'm ok with that. As I've said before, I'm more comfortable in my own skin.

But what if there are still some things out there that I can't or won't share? What if I have things I've done that I'm not proud of and that I'm not sure would be forgivable. What if?  I'm starting to think that everyone has secrets or lies that might never be revealed. That's just how it is.  It's absolutely hard to gauge how others might react. So what do you do? Keep it bottled up for decades?  Fight for the truth, even though you know that fight is a bunch of crap.  How was Lance Armstrong able to so ferociously fight the doping charges?  For many years, his self defense was so convincing.  Eventually, the evidence became overwhelming and he is finally acknowledging the real truths. 

Then the question becomes what's the motivation for revealing the truth?  Is it totally self serving? Is it to relieve the guilt? Is it simply because it's time to step up and do the right thing? Who knows.  It's quite a circle of unanswered questions.

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