A few months back, I wrote a column (hyper-link to earlier story https://www.forbesindia.com/article/comment/unlearning-what-lance-armstrong-taught-us/33957/1) soon after the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) published its report on Lance Armstrong. During the last two days, I have been watching the Lance –Oprah show. The follow up shows on CNN, BBC and the online space also attracted my interest. Being an avid student of sociology and psychology, my mind went into overdrive, as I tried to make sense of this human and social tragic-drama.
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When I think about what happened to Lance, my mind goes to Mel Gibson, Tiger Woods and even Jim Bakker (remember him?). Together, they inspired me to write this essay: http://bit.ly/U1gP77on Jan 25, 2013
Ron You make a good point. I agree with you that we need people who inspire us. The problem is not with people like Sachin or Dravid. They never asked us to call them or teat them as Gods. It is our obsession to discover the god like perfect human and associate with that thought that makes us hero worship. Few like Sachin and Dravid are grounded and refuse to get this to their head and conduct their lives with aplomb and do not over reach themselves. But most others let this get to their heads. they know that the story is intact till they keep this perfect human and all achieving Human myth alive. When they discover that it is difficult they start doing inappropriate things including cheating to keep the prtetence up. This is what Lance Armstrong confessed in his interview with Oprah. So we need peole who inspire us and give us hope but we can do without this personification of good in all and the super human who can achieve the unachievable. We are as fans are also cruel. The very same people whom we proped up we push them down to the dirt and make them the most abominable person, because he got found out. Who then will punish us for playing him up and also for being the catalyst which made him do the unacceptable things. Is\'nt it this fear of us treating them badly if they stop being super humans which make many adopt unfair and questionable means? That is the crux of the article.on Jan 25, 2013
Again the theory of karma prevails ..as you sow so you reap...every action will bear d fruits sweet or sour....on Jan 25, 2013
Sorry folks, I hv a slightly different take on this. To my mind we do need new heroes/ Gods. We desperately need guys that we can look up to and whom we feel are ideal, whom we aspire to be. As it is said Hope springs eternal....there is in any case so much despondency, that without anyone or anything to look up to most people will not want to see the light at the end of the tunnel. The article does make a good caseon Jan 24, 2013
You know what this reminds me of: The reluctance of our cricket team to submit to dope tests due to \"security concerns\". I\'m amazed that Sachin Tendulkar, whom most of India revers as God and can\'t take the slightest criticism, is the one who has been most critical of it. If BCCI didn\'t have as much money as it did, maybe...on Jan 24, 2013
absolutely cent percent true....on Jan 25, 2013
By criticizing larger than life figures on their moral misdemeanours many people get an opportunity to ride a high moral ground for a while in public. For example Bill Clinton\'s admission made him a subject of derision for so many. In my view every one has a temptation to cheat albeit in varying degrees. In the recent Mumbai Marathon, which I ran, we were discussing, if it were not for RFID tag based tracking of timings at various turns, a few would have crossed the divider and moved to the other side.on Jan 24, 2013
I am rewriting one of the paragraphs Are we inclined to believe fairy tales and miracles even when the basic facts stare at us? The global media may be on a witch hunt now, but why did it choose to ignore the evidence put up by David Walsh, even after Lance's mates, especially Andreu, had already blown the whistle? This also reminds me of the way our corporations sometimes deal with whistle blowers when they raise uncomfortable truths about larger-than-life business leaders. In most organizations, it is also said that the person in awe by all (the all powerful) is seldom challenged, in fact it may be politically incorrect to do so and minor mistakes are then ignored. The thin line from where these minor mistakes become major is the crux. But even then its fine as the halo effect remains. As organisations and in many cases fan clubs which support celebrities are powerful, it is seldom fine to give a contrarian view.on Jan 24, 2013
I am not sure after reading thsi article -- I will think the Same about Sachin Tendulkar or Rahul Dravid -- Rather for the fact even Federer / Nadal -- It seems that we people are happy in creating False prophets in our liveson Jan 23, 2013
Why is Usain bolt\'s record being dragged into the debate ? Are we going to question Messi and Ronaldo as well... I liked the previous article of yours... but not this one..on Jan 23, 2013
Dear Sudakar Thanks for posting your comment. Thanks for saying that you liked my earlier article. If you read the article carefully, I am questioning our hero adulation be it Usain or Messi or Ronoldo. Why should we not question Usain? Pl read the book \"The Dirtiest Race in History\" by Richard Moore, where in he chronicles the sordid history of performance enhancing Drugs in atheletics. He presents evidence even about Carl Lewis from the info that has now been made public. He tested positive in the US olympic trials according to this now unclassified report. I do not know whether Usain is posting timings assisted by Performance enhancing drugs. But there is no harm in presenting data which appears miraculous ala Lance or Ben Johnson or Marliene Ottey or Diego Maradona or Shane Warne. We may argue that the last last 2 were not using drugs for performance enhancement but they neverthe less used it. If we do not become skeptical about some of our heroes we will regret our misplaced trust like I am and many others are doing now about lance Armstrong. This is not to say that every performance is ro be suspected. But time, ability and trend defieying performance whether in sports or business or in life requires a closer examination. I guess that it is our sometimes blind and unquestioning acceptance and adulation which pushes people like Lance to keep the pretence up by unfair means. Is itthen not equally unfair for all of us to then hang these people whom we all built up with unquestioning hero worship. So in conclusion I want to believe and wish that Usain is clean because I am as much his fan. But I will not do so without being slightly skeptical or without a question on my lip saying it looks too good to be true? I will do the same about any miraculous and too good to believe Business performance or a business leader who appears to be too good to believe.on Jan 23, 2013