Do Liars Like Lance Armstrong & Manti T'eo Deserve Our Forgiveness?
Every minute it seems, we're finding out another prominent person in the news lied (or cheated) in some way, shape, or form. Manti T'eo and Lance Armstrong just happen to be the two most recent ... And every time it happens, it seems like our general reaction is basically the same: "How could he?!" We're shocked, dismayed, and swiftly ready to write the person off as a bad egg forever. But maybe it shouldn't necessarily be that way. Maybe we're being too quick to judge.
See, while watching the Lance Armstrong-Oprah interview yesterday, I kept thinking that while he was totally coming off like a schumuck who reeeeally screwed up and tarnished his squeaky-clean, do-gooder rep, I could also understand why he did what he did.
I wouldn't go so far as to say as I feel sympathy for the guy, but it just seemed like he lied for many reasons ... One of them is because he was so immersed in a culture of deceit. He kept using the word "generation" to explain to Oprah how he wasn't alone. Not in a cowardly, finger-pointing way, but in a way that makes you take a step back and realize he wasn't alone in deceiving us all. Doping was a generally accepted trend in his world. What riders did (and lied about) to be successful. And once he figured he could get away with it, and everyone else was getting away with it, he just kept "riding out" the lie ... for better or worse.
Similarly, we don't know all the exact details behind the Manti T'eo mess, but it seems like the guy lied because he got swept up in the fable. Couldn't face the consequence of the truth coming out. (Not that that fear prevented it from happening!)
And really, who hasn't been in a situation like that? Even if it was a little white lie you told once, we've all been scared silly to admit the truth at one time or another ... So how can we judge these guys so harshly for doing the same very human thing -- that happened to unfold in front of cameras and entire country?
The way I see it -- it boils down to them just being flawed in a regretable but deeply human way. So the humane thing to do is to consider forgiveness.
How do you feel about Lance and Manti's lies? Do you think you could "forgive" either man?