People Shouldn’t Be So Quick to Throw Stones

So the topic of conversation in the news these days seems to be the whole Lance Armstrong mess.  Now I wrote a post previously regarding my thoughts about this topic but that was before there was any actual proof, and an Oprah interview around the corner sealed with a confession.  Well while almost every news anchor and talk show host seems to share the position that this is a disgrace and that his actions were simply the most horrible thing that an athlete has ever done, I still feel the same way that I did when I wrote about it before, empathetic.

One news anchor even went so far as to call Lance Armstrong a disgrace to all humankind.  I have to admit that comment shocked me because are we really going to put Lance Armstrong in the same category as mass murderers and rapist (because those people are one’s I consider to be a disgrace to humankind).  To tell the truth it made me a little angry.

What right does anyone have to judge someone else on mistakes that they have made?  Are any of us that perfect that we can really throw stones from our glass houses?  I mean obviously everyone doesn’t go around using steroids to perform better in a sport but there are so many mistakes that people make on a regular and daily basis that other people could judge just as harshly.  There are murderers who have been treated in a kinder fashion then the media is treating this man.  He may have been a world class athlete and a wonderful philanthropist (which everyone in the media seems to have forgotten about) but he is still a human being that makes mistakes just like any one of us.

We hold people, particularly those who are in the media spotlight, to such high standards that are impossible for anyone to measure up to.  Why do we keep expecting people to be perfect when we can never be?  It’s a shame that we are always so busy searching for the bad in people that we overlook all of the good in them.  There are so many people who hold themselves back from so many opportunities because they’re too afraid that they can’t live up to being perfect.  When are we going to just accept people for who they are, mistakes and all, and love them instead of choosing to judge them?

I have the Write 2 Be Authentic and Imperfect… What is your Write 2 Be?

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

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13 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. So true. Especially that remark about “a disgrace to all humanity”! Considering everything else going on in our country right now–sheesh. Great post.

  2. What about Mitt Romney? When the media blasted him with lies saying he killed a woman with cancer, did you also say that you felt empathy for Romney and that the media shouldn’t cast stones on him?

    • No I did not because for one I never heard those accusations. But I would have no reason to empathize with Romney because he was not being vilified by the entire world and being called a disgrace to all humankind. I didn’t have any kind of empathy for Mitt Romney because his whole world wasn’t being stripped away from him and the world wasn’t using his mistake to put him in the same categories as murderers and rapists by saying that he was a disgrace to humankind. People weren’t forgetting all of the good that he had done because of one mistake. Lance Armstrong started a foundation that has saved millions of lives but no one seems to want to remember that part about him. As I said in my post, I empathize with the fact that everyone only seems to want to remember the bad that people do instead of shed light on all of the good. No human being deserves to be treated the way he is being treated by the media. NO ONE!

      • Let me just remind you that by cheating at a contest, you deny honest people the chance for victory. All those cyclists who didn’t cheat were denied 7 chances at the Tour de France. I believe it was U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis who said, “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.”
        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2185505/Deception-revealed-Obama-attack-ad-blames-Mitt-Romney-womans-cancer-death.html

      • Let me just remind you, because apparently you didn’t actually read the whole story, that the WHOLE entire team that Lance Armstrong was on were using performance enhancement drugs, not just him. Also let me remind you that he is not the first athlete to have cheated and to have denied it but people act as if this is something new. The man made a mistake, and just as anyone else who makes a mistake, he should be forgiven and not virtually stoned to death. You must have never done ANYTHING wrong in your life to be so judgmental about what someone else is going through. Unless any of us are 100% perfect, then NONE of us has any right to judge. And it would be nice if you were this passionate about all of the millions of lives that his foundation that he started helped to save instead of being passionate about a mistake that hundreds of athletes have made before. Where do you get off judging him or anyone else for that matter? Let God do that, that’s the only judge that matters anyway.

  3. Lance did a bad thing, more to himself than anybody else. He took a risk and was well aware of the spotlight on him. I don’t feel empathy or sympathy. It was foolish. He believed and invested more in himself than we ever could. While he defeated many of his competitors, he has now defeated publicly. That’s simply what happens with celebrity status. If he learns anything at all from this experience, I hope it’s humility.

    • I never agreed with what he did but I do have empathy, not for his actions, but for the persecution that he is going through. He made a mistake and regardless of what he did, no one who was sober could’ve done what he did within his sport and he still did the training for those wins. Could you have won 7 bike marathons? Again I do not agree with his actions but for news anchors and other people around the world to act as if he is the first person to have ever done drugs to perform better in a sport and deny it, and even worse, to say he is a disgrace to humankind when we have people committing mass murders and raping people on video tape is just completely ridiculous. NO ONE should have to be torn down this way for making a mistake. He’s human, I wish people would try and remember that. That is what I empathize with, that he’s a human being who made a mistake and people act as if he killed someone.

  4. Thoughtful post. I agree that some people have a skewered perspective. Comparing his transgression to the worst of humankind is just ridicules. And I believe the pressure to perform, to be perfect, is overwhelming and have some measure of empathy for him.

    I can’t blame those who feel betrayed by the revelation of his drug use. It’s a betrayal of their awe. It’s harder still to feel sorry for him considering this isn’t a single act of misjudgement but a systematic fraud perpetuate on his fans, the bike community, his competition, and sponsors. It’s just another sad story of personal failure that shouldn’t over shadow any good he’s done, nor condemn him for life.

    • Thank you for your response. I can understand the feeling of betrayal as well but he has to live with what he did and isn’t that enough of a persecution? No one can persecute a person as much as they can persecute themselves so my only problem with people treating him the way they are is the fact that people seem to have forgotten that no one is perfect and we all make mistakes. I don’t think all of his work within his foundation and the millions of lives that his foundation has saved should be forgotten because he made a mistake.

  5. Jimmetta,
    When I said that Lance Armstrong denied the victory to other cyclists, I was NOT referring to his team members. I was referring to the British, the French, the Swedes, the Danes, the Norwegians, the Irish, the Scottish, the Czechs, the Slovaks, the Poles, the Canadians, the Australians, the Kiwis, the Italians, the Belgians, the Dutch, the Portuguese, the Finlanders, the Germans, the Swiss, all the other teams who didn’t cheat, etc. etc. etc. He has forever tarnished cyling as a sport.

    And then you argue that “Unless any of us are 100% perfect, then NONE of us has any right to judge.” This is a fallacious argument that is classified as “Two Wrongs Make A Right”, a charge of wrongdoing is answered by a rationalization that others have sinned, or might have sinned. I’m sure you can come up with a better argument in favor or Mr. Armstrong.

    And regarding the alleged pious nature of Lance’s foundation: Line 15 of his tax form lists salaries & benefits of $7.3 million. Douglas Ulman, the President & CEO makes $354k and the EVP’s all make between $165k and $218k. Charity is not a bad “business” to be in ! And they paid a public health consultant named John Snow $794k. Note the paid consultant does not directly help the cancer patients. The cancer patients never see Mr. Snow and have no idea the foundation is paying him almost $800k a year for shadowy services. And I’m not even going to go into how the Lance Armstrong Foundation are ADVOCATES for the Affordable Care Act, which makes them a tool of the Progressives.
    http://www.livestrong.org/pdfs/4-0/LAF-2011-Form-990

    This “confession” was nothing more than a business move to keep the foundation alive and well in the hearts of its supporters. But don’t worry, Jimmetta, because under Obama’s new policies, you will no longer be allowed to deduct any charitable contributions.

    • I never said two wrongs make a right. I never said that Lance Armstrong did not do anything wrong. He has to live with what he did and that is enough, he doesn’t need to be persecuted by people who don’t live his life and walk in his shoes. He has NOT forever tarnished cycling as a sport and if you are going to go so far as to say something so ridiculous as that then I suppose you feel Football and basketball and Baseball has been forever tarnished as well because they have all had their fair share of athletes using drugs to perform better and then denying it. There are so many more crucial matters in this world to worry about then this man using performance enhancement drug and surely you can’t possibly think that he did this on his own accord without so urging from the corporate side of the cycling sport, if you do then you are naive. And President Obama’s new policies have nothing to do with this discussion so why do you feel the need to throw the President into this conversation. Sounds like you have some personal issue with President Obama’s policies and I do not share those grievances because his policies benefit me rather well. I fall under that 47% of people that Mitt Romney said he didn’t worry about. I hope that you don’t remain so judgmental of someone that you don’t know without knowing all of what they live with on a daily basis and if you continue to sit on that high horse of yours then congratulations on having never done anything wrong in your life that other people could judge you on, I’ve never known any perfect person.

  6. Jimmetta,
    I have been following the Tour de France fiasco for quite some time in the pages of “Outside Magazine” (a tasteful magazine for outdoor enthusiasts, & does not refer to anything prurient). I’ve read Floyd Landis’s anguished cries from those pages. I know how Armstrong wrecked his life for daring to speak the truth. I will refer you to Jason Gay of the Wall Street Journal (1/17/13) who states, “Why should we believe anything Lance Armstrong says now? Sorry. Can’t help it. That was Lance Armstrong’s tactic of choice upon accusation–attack the messenger (Landis), challenge his or her credibility, throw some doubt, suggest past inconsistencies, hint at personal troubles, flaws, financial motivations. Most of all, the tactic was distract, distract, distract.

    This was a tactic that worked scarily well for a scarily long time………The irony in the downfall of Lance Armstrong is what protected him for so long is also what will make this crisis harder to erase. Human beings make terrible mistakes all of the time and there is a resilient tendency in people toward forgiveness. But Armstrong’s not in this mess because he’s a human being who made a terrible mistake. It’s because every time the truth approached, he doubled down and attacked the truth teller. That strategy of denial and distraction will haunt him, perhaps forever. Why should we believe anything Lance Armstrong says now? This is a reasonable question. He needs to give a good answer.”

    Jimmetta, it was nice debating you. I’m not going to touch the issue of Obama’s policies. You claim they “benefit you rather well”. That can only mean one thing: you are the recipient of some other citizen’s hard-earned money. You are pocketing the redistributed wealth of your neighbor’s hard work and creativity. The Bible calls that coveting, which is a sin. We need to take a hard look at why our country has strayed so far from it’s founding principles guided by the Bible and Christianity because Socialism only leads to more poverty and misery. I certainly hope a miracle intervenes and saves us before we end up another failed state in the ash heap of history.

    • I find it funny how you are bringing the bible into this debate seeing as though you are judging a mand you don’t know and have no idea what he may or may not be dealing with in his personal. I believe the bible says something about not judging others unless you want to be judged. And how dare you attack me on my situation with your crass comments of me “being the recipient of some other citizen’s hard-earned money.” You have no idea who I am and what my personal struggles are and you will not judge me when you do not know me. And have some respect and refer to the President as President Obama. And in regards to saving us before we end another failed state in the ash heap of history, President Obama will definately keep that from happening. I sure hope you never find yourself in a position where someone else who doesn’t know you or anything about you is judging you. This debate is over because you have now crossed a very personal line. Have fun on your high horse!


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