Lance Armstrong's recent Oprah confession that he used drugs to win was greeted with shock, condemnation, and the expected crusade for crucifixion in the news.
As usual, the most important point has been completely missed. Yes, this is about Lance. But it's also about ourselves. As he has so embarrassingly demonstrated, we are programed robots driven by our egos. His goal was to win. He did. The way he won is, apparently, illegal. Why? Because there are laws that say so. While we may obey laws like those, we have become expert at "fudging" wherever possible.
If we refuse to see what Lance did, and what everyone else does who craves the rewards of celebrity adulation, as a reflection of our own misguided longing, then we are the real dopes. In fact, all of us are enculturated liars and cheaters and you know it as well as I do, if you are honest about your life. The only difference between him and us is that he is in the spotlight. In demonizing him, we reveal ourselves as the fools that we are.
As Jordana Divon blogged in Why people lie: What Armstrong's admission might teach us, "We think that we're always telling our kids to be honest and always tell the truth, but the reality is there are instances where we do quite the opposite," says Dr. Robert Feldman, author of The Liar in Your Life: The Way to Truthful Relationships. "We'll say, 'Grandma knit you this new sweater. She's going to come over and give it to you. I know you're not going to like it but tell her that you love it.'"
This example may seem far removed from the sins of Lance Armstrong but it demonstrates how the lying begins. So, when does it stop?
Who can really cast the first stone here? And who chooses to learn from this and use the disillusionment of this doped, duped hero to fuel the journey towards increasing personal authenticity for oneself?