The gift that keeps on giving

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After recently listening to a podcast with Lance Armstrong, it reminded me of the inspirational books I’ve read, the races I’ve watched him win, the incredible strength and tenacity he demonstrated year after year to be at the top of cycling and not to forget the life changing  work and influence he carried into our society with the charity – Livestrong.

Then of course the thing happened, you remember that thing – the thing that Lance Armstrong will always be remembered for… the doping scandal in 2012 where Armstrong was eventually stripped of his seven titles and banned from a future of racing but most of all indelibly marked for life as a doper, a drug user, a cheat and a deceiver.

Don’t get me wrong, I see all these things and I recognise they are really bad to say the very least.

I asked five people at random of what they think of when I say ‘Lance Armstrong’ and without hesitation they all emphatically replied: druggy, dope head, cheat etc.

How crucial it is to recognize that everyone at some point fucks up badly. We can’t help it but surely we do this because inherently:

  • We are flawed
  • We are curious
  • We are sorry
  • We are human 
  • We are takers
  • We are selfish
  • We are boundary pushers
  • We are under pressure
  • We are never satisfied

However:

  • We can give
  • We can encourage
  • We can help
  • We can be gracious
  • We can choose
  • We can be better 

What I’m saying here is that we should be zooming out at looking at a bigger picture

But this approach requires you to share or deliver something that hasn’t been earned by the other person. The best word for it is ‘Grace’ – Undeserved favour.

So lets do it – lets just hand out second chances right?

Easy…

But for one reason or another they are not easy to give out especially if that person wronged you in the first place.

The problem is that it requires the giver to be less important, to lower themselves, to be vulnerable, to be the one who is taking action to give another chance where you probably wouldn’t expect one.

We must enable those in our lives to not be remembered for the times they were only human and made a bad judgement and optimise the opportunity to wipe the slate clean and show that you SEE them, that they’re also human and that you have a powerful gift which is to give someone else a leg up.

After all you are also human and will need the same courtesy shown to you at least once in your life.

Choose to see the good in each other

At all costs avoid valuing someone by their mistake just to leave you feeling superior and choose to value them on all the things that make them great.

2 thoughts on “The gift that keeps on giving

  1. The thing about that is…he agreed to play fair. We all make lots of mistakes, or screw up. But he was a role models for bikers everywhere. Other bikers entered the contest and did their best to win without doping themselves. Different game altogether. At least that’s what I think. He cheated big time and all the people who worked hard to do the best they could were cheated out of a fair chance of winning. He LIED and CHEATED to beat the other riders ON PURPOSE. Not the same thing as what we all do when we screw up. He knew what he was doing and he knew the cost, if he was caught. That’s definitely what people will remember because he let everyone down and did a bad thing to a lot of other riders and the sport itself. Cheating on purpose in a worldwide way isn’t like the stupid things we all do everyday. He did this to himself and that is the way he went out, doing it to himself.

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