This very moment, I’m watching Part I of Lance Armstrong’s interview with Oprah. As calm as I’ve seen him in an interview, he finally comes clean about using performance-enhancing drugs. A quick look on twitter turns up a series of disgusted statements from self-righteous media characters and others lining up to throw their stones:
“After years of lying to my face, Lance Armstrong apologizes in an email. He can keep it. My column: http://espn.go.com/espn/story/_/id/8852974/lance-armstrong-history-lying …” writes Rick Reilly.
The expected jokes from the common twitter folk follow.
On her end, Oprah makes sure she adds just enough outrage to her questions to satisfy an audience hungry for a crucifixion, but not so much that she scares him off. She strikes the right tone. He is calm. He has “tried to make amends,” but nobody wants to hear it, because he lied and sued and stepped over so many people in the process of winning at all costs. He was not alone at cheating, and no one cares if this was the culture of the team, or the sport. We may never really know all that happened. What we do know is that Lance made the most money, won all the medals, got all the jerseys and since he lied about the drugs, he must be ruined.
Lance Armstrong fallen hero status is a good opportunity for us to stop looking up to so-called heroes, and start looking in. The same mind that drives us to success as human beings, can also compel us to cheat. The same force that inspires greatness can breed unfairness, greed and cruelty. This is why there is suffering in our world, just as much as there is beauty.
Turning our attention within we can look at the speck of sawdust in our own eyes and realize that in the realm of form, we are all flawed at varying degrees, aspects and times. Fortunately, form is not all we are. Form is not even the absolute reality of who we are. In the realm of consciousness, glory and fall, winning and losing, half truths and lies dissolve into the space that is awareness. When we stop looking up to others in the world of form, we also stop judging them and attacking like wolves when they err.
It is only from awareness that we can have compassion for ourselves and others. Only from that space can we respect each other’s journeys and truly experience life with its joys and thorns.
“And the truth will set you free”…