Thursday, December 3, 2009

Life Lessons From Tiger

So we've learned that Tiger Woods isn't perfect. What a surprise! Is there anyone who thought he was? Yes, he's the best golfer in the world, arguably the best ever. Yet, even the best golfer can make bad moral choices.

I'm not interested in weighing in on whether Tiger's private life should be left private (it hasn't). My interest is: What can we learn from Tiger's situation?

First, we can learn that bad choices can humble even the most admired of celebrities. Those who put Tiger on a pedestal far above us mortals are disillusioned. But such disillusionment is a good thing because it helps us see that everyone is an imperfect human being. Illusions need to be stripped away so that we can see the truth about ourselves.

Secondly, Tiger teaches us that choices have consequences. We can't know all of the consequences of his bad choices, but we've already seen several of them. He has hurt his relationship with his wife, his fans, and (maybe) his children. He seems to have recognized this, which is good news because recognition is the beginning of the healing process.

Thirdly, I hope we can learn that, without forgiveness, human relationships cannot thrive. Forgiveness needs to happen on several levels. Over time, Tiger needs to receive the forgiveness of his wife, he needs to forgive himself and we need to forgive Tiger. All of this takes time and effort. Forgiveness is not easy nor instantaneous (except in the case of God's forgiveness).

There are surely more lessons to be learned from this, but this is a start. What do you think?

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