When did Lying and Cheating kill Failing, to Win in America?
Obviously Lance Armstrong was the one that inspired this thought process for the blog but the more I thought about it the more I realized it’s not his fault. Alright I am lying but isn’t that why he went on Oprah to tell the truth, or at least his version of the truth.
If you don’t win you don’t make it in this country, is the train of thought that we build into our children. We are inspired by sports, politics, you tube, school, television, religion and even our family; that you have to be the best at whatever the cost, and there lies the rub. Who decides what is right and what is wrong?
So who was surprised; or even cared that Armstrong cheated, lied or bullied everyone that he was involved with? Is the fact that he won more important? Isn’t everyone supposed to be a winner that shows up for the race or work or school?
Let’s face it, it starts at home. If we are in a relationship and we are not happy with what we imagine it should be, 50% of Americans break in up or request a divorce. Does that mean that only 50 percent of the 50 percent are in love? What does that have to do with cheating, and lying to win? Everything! We set the example that if you are not happy, cheating or lying to your partner or spouse is ok, or we hire attorneys that are extremely good at winning through smoke screens and misdirection.
Only a year ago, I recommend to the recreation department that I was coaching with that we don’t hand out trophies to every player on every team for just showing up for practices, the back lash that I received from board members and parents was appalling, you would of thought that I fed their kids to zombies. The same thing with school, we tell them that they are amazing and their work is brilliant whether the case or not. Since most students use the internet as their go to resource for studying and projects, teachers have found that 60% of their work is plagiarized (a big word for stolen), they don’t deny it, and they want credit for knowing where to find it and how to use the information. When they don’t receive the grade they feel is just, students and parents take the teachers before the principal or board to appeal it stealing even more time from other students and teachers.
In corporate America it is the manager that is reprimanded if the employee doesn’t feel that their boss showed them enough appreciation for their awesome efforts; arriving at work on time or doing extra work without having to be asked. These are the same people that will laugh off the cheated fifteen minutes of pay by staying for 5 minutes over, or steal time from their employer by texting at work. If they placed as much effort into doing their job as they do trying to work the system they would be wealthy and wise.
Honestly what examples do they have when our own government lies to the people about the issues and policies not to mention the fact that these power hungry individuals have no problem placing our country at risk with their poor behavior followed by a book deal, on how they came back from the edge?
Then there is television, where we promote cheating, lying and bullying like Revenge, Deception and Real House Wives.
So why have we made FAIL another bad four letter word of disgrace in this country? I have a tattoo on my arm that came from a phrase that I wrote over 20 years ago to remind me that failing was part of life, “There Is No Pleasure without Pain”, not to be confused with no pain, no gain. The significance of the phrase was to remind me that you cannot love something or someone fully until you can truly dislike them as well; this is how I look at failing and winning too. I know I have failed more times than I probably want to admit. The pain of failing was what made me stronger; it built character and made the pleasure (Winning) more enjoyable. No, failing doesn’t win you a million dollars or have a building named after you, it will however allow you to sleep well at night and feel like you are a winner. We are taught that earning our life was something special, today it appears winning is all that matters. I remember my father asking me one day when I was young, “Who sets the standard for winning, is winning at any cost worth it and then ask yourself if you really did win?” I didn’t understand his thought process when I was 15 years old, however as I failed through life I was winning too. I learned, many times the hard way, but I learned to be happy even in my failures as long as failed I learned and became more successful, so now I feel I have won. Is it possible that you can feel and understand the value of things if you cheat and lie to win? I don’t feel it is, but apparently America does. Maybe the weight of all the lies and cheating that Armstrong tugged behind him for decades finally caught up with him, or maybe he just needed more attention.
Do not educate your children to be rich.
Educate them to be happy.
So when they grow up, they’ll know the value of things not the price.
A. Dragonblood 2013