Retirement Guys: Cheaters never winWritten by Nolan Baker Mark Clair | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Cheater! There has been a lot in the news lately about cheaters. Lance Armstrong cheated his way to seven Tour de France victories, Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire cheated their way to home run records, John Edwards and Gen. David Petraeus cheated on their wives and surprise, surprise, John Mayer reportedly cheated on Taylor Swift! What is the world coming to?
Things seem to get worse and worse, but in reality it has probably never changed. Let’s face it, when it comes to human desire for pleasure, to get ahead, to beat the other guy, it is amazing at what lengths we will go to and how clouded our judgment becomes in pursuit of what we want. I (Mark) recently watched the television series that was on a couple years ago called “The Tudors.” It is the story of King Henry VIII and his wild life of multiple marriages and multiple affairs and all the while overseeing his realm. His selfish pursuit of a woman (Anne Boleyn — who later gets her head chopped off) led to one of the biggest controversies in English and Catholic history. The Reformation and England breaking away from the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church standing by their moral standards would not approve King Henry’s request of an annulment of his marriage to Katherine of Aragon so that his marriage to Anne Boleyn would be considered legitimate. Wow. One guy’s cheating and manipulation lead to heads rolling.
Armstrong has reportedly confessed to a long history of doping that lead to his many victories. I am leery of his reasoning for doing this since he has denied up and down for years ever using performing enhancing drugs to improve his performance. He has even sued others for defamation of his character in calling him a cheater. He seemed to use the strategy of former President Clinton when it came to his cheating with Monica Lewinsky —deny, deny, deny. I am wondering now if his “coming clean” is purely selfish in motive so that he can move on to other pursuits such as participating in other sports competitions.
Major League Baseball just had their annual vote for the Hall of Fame and guess what? Nobody got in. Why? Some think that there is so much uncertainty by the voters as to who used performance-enhancing drugs and who didn’t that they were hesitant to vote for certain players. On the other hand, many votes went to players that are supposedly known cheaters such as Bonds, McGwire and Roger Clemens. These votes may have been wasted on the cheaters and could have gone to players that did not cheat and were deserving of the vote. What a big mess. Personally, I don’t see how any of the voters could vote for someone they know cheated. Yet, they do. As a consumer I feel cheated. All those home runs, all the drama of pursuit of the records and we now do not really know what was real.
It seems that cheating has messed up the world. Cheating has caused pain, anguish, angst, regret, hatred, deceit, more cheating, and even death. Ah, the human condition. We are all flawed and struggle with our demons. We are all flawed even more than most of us will let on.
What to do? I bet that if you talk to any cheater almost 100 percent of them will tell you it was not worth it. The pleasure they may have experienced, the money they made, the games they won, the favor they experienced, was only for a season. It was all merely temporary. They now must deal with the consequences of their bad decisions. Armstrong now gets to confess to Oprah and be disgraced in the eyes of the entire world after being such a great hero. Mark McGwire is now keeping a very low profile as a hitting coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He is probably lucky he gets to do that. No one wants anything to do with Barry Bonds.
It is crystal clear that certain actions are not worth it. For some of us, it takes longer to come to our senses. Some of us never learn. What to do? Let the good side of your human nature prevail. You know what to do.
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