Today my heart is breaking. One more of my heroes has just resigned due to allegations of sexual misconduct. It has been shocking to watch the number of men who have supported women publicly and who have secretly been abusing them.
I don't fully know how to wrap my brain around it all. What happens when our heroes fall?
Like a lot of kids I believed my dad could do no wrong. And for the majority of his life I believe he was an upstanding legal abiding person but I do remember the IRS fining him for some fraudulent tax activity. I don't really know the details - but I do remember that sense of sadness and disappointment at learning that he wasn't perfect. I remember him saying "well I'll never do that again" -- a sense that he wasn't sorry about doing it but sorry that he got caught.
Below is a piece written by Howard Moore that helped remind me of the reality of our heroes - hope you find it helpful.
Your heroes are going to disappoint you
By Howard Moore, December 1, 2017 at 12:05 am
"Two of my greatest sports heroes, Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus, golfed with 45 this weekend. I will try to forgive them. It will take a little time."
"F*ck them. Time for new heroes."
Bill Clinton. Donald Trump. Charlie Rose. Bill O'Reilly. Matt Lauer. Al Franken. Roy Moore. Garrison Kelllor. Kevin Spacey
Democrat or Republican. Conservative or liberal. It doesn't make a difference what side you're on. The people you admire...the people you respect...the people you hero worship tend to disappoint you.
Sure, they seemed to be great and above reproach. Seemed.
They've overcome great odds to reach the positions they're in. We want to believe in these people. We hold them to almost impossible standards. That's why we're so surprised, disappointed and broken when they show that they're not perfect. I don't know why we're so shocked when we find out our heroes don't live up to our expectations. They're human just like the rest of us. While they have have admirable accomplishments, they also have their flaws.
When I was a child, my heroes were John F. Kennedy and Mickey Mantle. Turns out my political hero was having affairs with the girlfriend of a gangster and also Marilyn Monroe. My sports hero was an alcoholic womanizer. Because we didn't have anything close to the media outlets that we have now, no one had any idea about this. It was a kinder, gentler time for heroes. I wonder what I would have thought about them if I knew then what I know now?
Recently someone told me how excited they were to meet Hockey legend Bobby Hull. I wondered if she could separate Hull the hockey player from Hull the Nazi sympathizer and wife batterer? I'm not sure I could.
And what about Patrick Kane? Do you think three time Stanley Cup champion or suspected sex abuser? How about Aroldis Chapman? Is he the gutsy relief pitcher who was a big factor in the Cubs winning the World Series or the guy who was accused of beating his girlfriend and then firing a gun in their garage?
Well guess what....everyone I've mentioned is multi-dimensional. You can love what they do on the screen or the ball field and hate the way behave in their personal life....at least I think you can. The rules for this are vague and they seem to be changing daily. There's no question it's complicated. Quite the conundrum.
The first paragraph was a Facebook conversation about the last weeks Presidential Golf outings. The comment about finding new heroes is close to right on. But how will we know our new heroes will be any better? Maybe we're just better off without heroes? Maybe that great philosopher Charles Barkley was right on when he said, "I'm not a role model... Just because I dunk a basketball doesn't mean I should raise your kids."
Think about that the next time one of your heroes breaks your heart. It should be any day now.