Lance Armstrong story compelling on many levels
How often does a lie take total control of someone’s life from the first exposure, as addictive as heroin or methamphetamines?
(Jeb Bladine, Publisher) This week’s Lance Armstrong stories are compelling on many levels.
He cheated. He says at the time, he didn’t consider it cheating. If all the top cyclists were doping, in his mind he was just creating a level riding field for the races.
He created a foundation that has raised $500 million to fight cancer. That buys him just a little bit of slack in my book. I’m not an “ends justifies the means” guy, but still, Armstrong’s participation in cycling’s then-too-common doping practices doesn’t expunge the world of the good he has done.
However, he lied. Not just in temporary self-defense, but for years in aggressive and belittling fashion against his accusers. We put our heroes on a pedestal, exult in their falls from grace, then just as quickly forgive them when they face exposure of their human weaknesses with contrition. Armstrong didn’t do that, and that’s why he received lifetime bans for offenses that drew temporary suspensions for others.
The story is compelling because lying touches every life, everywhere, every day. This week’s interview with Armstrong ended on the note, “The truth will set you free” – a variation of what John 8:32 attributed to Jesus, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
From that religious foundation comes a sentiment that has proved prophetic in millions of human situations. How many people live a lie for too long? How often does a lie take total control of someone’s life from the first exposure, as addictive as heroin or methamphetamines? How often does a lie, even if laying dormant in silent non-disclosure, slowly corrode one’s inner self.
The Lance Armstrong Story is going to be around for a while. As will the lessons it teaches.