Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Tiger by the tail

The crumbling personal life of professional golfer Tiger Woods has been a prominent story in the media for several weeks now. Only a person living under a rock somewhere in the Amazon jungle could possibly not know his story.

Beginning with an auto accident outside his home on Thanksgiving weekend, his life has been in a constant state of turmoil. His infidelity toward his wife and the many women coming forward to claim relationships with him are reminiscent of the ‘bimbo eruptions’ that often plagued former President Bill Clinton.

In many respects, Woods had cultivated an excellent image. A great golfer, the image he projected with his beautiful wife and children was that of a man who had it all under control. He appeared to have the perfect life.

However, as we all know, nothing related to mankind can be termed ‘perfect.’ Woods, like all of us, has his flaws, and they have been exposed for the world to see.

Obviously, Woods has done wrong so I won’t spend time elaborating on the obvious. The one fact we must all remember is that we all have failed in major ways. True, most people have not made the mistakes Woods has, but if we are honest, we must acknowledge that we have come up short at some point in our lives.

It is our good fortune that our mistakes have not become tabloid fodder. We do not have to suffer through the pain of turning on the television or picking up the newspaper and seeing ourselves getting ripped to shreds.

Of course, Woods has nobody to blame but himself. He made his mistakes, and the consequences have been severe. Besides the damage to his family, his reputation is becoming lower than mud.

He is learning a hard lesson. He is an idol to millions and has been exalted in their eyes. Unfortunately, a common trait in our society is that in the same way we build people up, we also seem to enjoy watching people fall.

And as Woods is learning, when a person gets knocked to the ground, this is when people start kicking.

For the time being, Woods has announced that he is taking an indefinite leave of absence from professional golf so he can concentrate on being a better husband, father, and person.

Hopefully, this is a sincere move and not just a temporary act that is meant to help rehabilitate his image. At this point, I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. He has been publicly humiliated in a way rarely scene, especially for somebody who treasures privacy.

Whatever the coming months hold in store for him, we can be sure that he has a rough road ahead. It is thought that he and his wife may go indefinitely to her homeland of Sweden to get away from the glare of the spotlight.

I think that is a good idea. I am sure he will still be under scrutiny there, but it will not compare to what he would go through here. In the United States, he will be nothing but a solitary figure stuck inside his mansion.

In the end, Woods' mistakes are a cautionary tale for us all. Throughout history, we have seen example after example of powerful and popular people who gave into the carnal temptations that were around them.

This is nothing new. However, our human nature being what it is, we keep seeing the same mistake being made over and over.

Maybe Woods' mistakes will be enough warning to keep people from going where they should not.

1 comment:

Joltin' Django said...

What's sickened me most about the whole Tiger imbroglio is the folks who've tried to turn it into a racial -- instead of a famous-athlete-is-a-boorish-cad -- issue.

See here:

... and here: