Monday, February 2, 2009

The Person I Hope to Become

Olympian Michael Phelps called his pot smoking incident “regrettable” and that it showed “bad judgment”. Former President Bill Clinton stated emphatically that he “did not have sexual relations with that woman”. When reports initially surfaced about politician John Edwards ‘ affair he called them, “false and ridiculous”.

There are new reports, almost daily, about athletes, political leaders and celebrities being forced to confront an embarrassing public outing of their own questionable behavior. Standing before the media and the public they will issue their statement. Some will deny. Some will justify. Some will admit guilt and apologize. But there is almost always an assurance that this small behavioral blemish is not representative of the good person that they really are. For they are normally a fine, moral, law abiding citizen with a lifetime of stellar and admirable achievements that are far more indicative of their true character.

Afterwards, their public relations people sit back and hope that the public fell for it while the famous person quietly slips out of the public eye for some period of time.

How refreshing it was then to read the story of Seattle Seahawks linebacker Leroy Hill. Hill was arrested last month outside of Atlanta. Apparently, Hill had fallen asleep behind the wheel of his car. At a major intersection. With marijuana in the car.

Mr. Hill then proceeded to issue the obligatory statement to the media and the public. He was appropriately embarrassed by the “poor judgment I showed.” But then, surprisingly, Mr. Hill did not claim the incident was isolated and promise that it wouldn’t happen again. Mr. Hill did not then proceed to list his on field accomplishments and proclaim that his love for football would keep him going. Mr. Hill did not then schedule a photo op with him feeding inner city homeless children a turkey dinner.

No, Mr. Hill bit the bullet and told the truth.

“Please understand my actions were not consistent with the type of person I hope to become.”

Initially I had to chuckle. But then I started to think. I think Mr. Hill is someone I can identify with. Someone who knows he is a work in progress. Someone who acknowledged what he had done. Someone who acknowledged that his actions were representative of who he is today. Someone who hopes that maybe tomorrow, just maybe, he would do better. And isn't that all any of us can hope for? That someday, just maybe, we will be the person we hope to become.

Check This Out!

I've put off reading A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini for a long time. Despite pleading recommendations from friends I just didn't see how it could compare to the author's first book, The Kite Runner. And it didn't seem like a very happy book. Well, in spite of much of the book not being particularly happy, A Thousand Splendid Suns certainly equalled or perhaps even surpassed The Kite Runner. Mr. Hosseini has done it again. Don't put off reading it as long as I did.


Holly said...

If admission is the first step in recovery then we would all do well to begin looking solidly in the mirror and identifying who/what/how we are... but then again, someone I love often says 'recovery is the first step in not giving a _____'

Anonymous said...

That's one of the funniest things I've heard in a long time. I agree--how refreshing to have someone say, "Hey, I'm not perfect...but maybe someday!" I give that guy,or his PR people, credit.