I once honored and respected Lance Armstrong, or rather, the image Armstrong created for himself.
But then the truth came out.
As a therapist, I think about people like Lance, people who need to win . . . whatever it takes. Lie about lying? No problem. Steal fame and fortune from others? In a heartbeat. Poison bodies while poisoning the faith and confidence of millions of people? Pass the needles.
How do they sleep at night? How do they live with themselves?
But that doesn’t soften the blow when a national icon such as Lance Armstrong turns out to be a multi-million dollar two-bit shyster.
Yes, Armstrong violated trust, but I still believe in his potential to pull his head out of his bloated ego. I have to believe. If I didn’t believe, I’d have no reason to work in the helping profession. I hope for his sake he figures out what’s important in life. If it were up to me, I’d give him several years to think about it in a small room heavily accented with iron décor.
I love heroes. Real heroes. Not villains who hide behind their hero images.
When Kris and I lived in Japan, people told us we were “oya baka,” which literally means foolish parents. Oya baka are parents who are gaga over their great kids. Our friends were right, of course. We are oya baka. Our kids are good at a lot of things, but most importantly, they’re good at being good people. They respect others. They respect life.
We’re so oya baka, we’re going to do whatever it takes to help David run across America. No, that’s not right. We’re not going to lie. We’re not going to steal. We’re not going to poison our bodies or poison the faith of the people and organizations who breathe life into this adventure.
Erika, Brittany, David, and Olivia, thank you for being good people! David, thanks for inspiring your oya baka parents to join you on your run across the country. Let’s do it. Let’s have some fun and kick some butt.
But while we’re kicking butt, David, remember what Armstrong forgot: winning races, medals, and fame don’t make you great. You brought your greatness with you from eons before you were born and it will grow within you for eons into the future. But your greatness shines brightest when you honor and respect yourself, life, the Earth, and God.
Speaking of greatness and God, when you present an image of yourself to the public as we cross America, just be yourself. And while you’re being yourself, remember in whose image you were created.
How great is that!