What a busy semester! New programs, classes, ENACTUS, and Faculty Chair duties have kept me busy this year. So much so I have not been able to write as much. My lack of writing is not due to a lack of subjects, but due to time commitments. Today, however, I have a few moments to reflect on the events of this past week.
Pistorius, the Blade Runner, was allowed bail by the South African court system. He killed his girlfriend, which he said was a huge mistake. Some are calling this the OJ Simpson trial of South Africa. If the glove don’t fit you must acquit. This tragic event of the week will be watched by the world, but I wonder why something like this happens. Why does a person with so much going good happening in their life, shoots their significant other? What drives a person to do that? What makes someone so mad that they think they must kill the person they love? From this comment, you may assume I think he did it intentionally, but I am not saying that, but if he did do that intentionally what drove him to the point of premeditative murder?
Armstrong is another continuing event. Now the United States government has joined the plethora of plaintiffs suing Lance Armstrong. Here is a man who has won the Tour de France seven times, or at least had won them, but now has lost everything. His wins were stripped from him, and now many of his previous supporters are suing him for fraud. The question in my mind about Armstrong is what drove him to feel that he needed to cheat to win?
Berlusconi continues to ascend into headlines ad nauseum. Here is a man that led Italy down a road of destruction, and just like the Emperors of the past was filled with debauchery and deceit, yet the Italian people may vote him back into office. He was removed from office for many reasons, including sex with a minor, but now because Italians are afraid of austerity he just may end up back in power. It reminds me of one of our own, D.C. mayor Marion Berry. He was a civil rights activist who was elected mayor of D.C. He was eventually arrested for smoking crack cocaine. He served six months in jail and then was reelected to a commissioner position, and eventually became mayor again.
All three of these men are flawed individuals. They are not what Jim Collins calls a level five leader, or someone who builds greatness through a paradoxical mix of humility and professional will. One could never say the Pistorius, Armstrong, and Berlusconi are humble individuals using professional will to build greatness. But how did they become the people they are today. As little children did they cheat and live in excess? Did they kill lizards and plan for the days they would be in positions of influence where they could do just that? I don’t think so!
I think these three men grew up in fairly normal situations, but as they grew up and moved into their positions of leadership and influence made bad decisions and no one held them accountable. No one said Lance, “doping is wrong.” Or to Pistorius, “you have an anger problem I am not leaving until you seek help.” Or to Berlusconi, “you are one sick individual you need to get your life in order.” These men did not have the right people around them to keep them on the narrow path. They became their own standard of right and wrong, instead of adhering to a higher standard.
Humanity is fallen. We are all imperfect people, and as a result of that we need external help to keep ourselves on the narrow path. In 1973 I became a Christian. I recognized that the journey I was on was not healthy. I gave my life to Christ and began my walk with Him. I cannot say I have been perfect, there have been many failures, but I do know this He is in my life helping me to stay on that narrow path that is not easily found. As Jesus said, broad is the path that leads to destruction, but narrow is the gate that leads to salvation. I am happy where my life has gone. I am very thankful that I am a Jesus follower, and I look forward to the future, whatever if may bring.
And that is my thought for the day!