August 16, 2013
BE THE ONE
Tiger Woods is a polarizing figure. Because of his horrible life choices people either him love or hate him. There is very little indifference when it comes to public opinion. However, I learned a very valuable lesson about “Being the One” the other day. This isn't something that Tiger Woods did for someone else, but what someone else did for Tiger Woods.
I watched a recent interview with the famed Billy Casper on the Golf Channel. He and Tiger had grown close to one another over the years as they interacted through the PGA. After Tiger’s fall from grace, many people who he considered to be friends turned their backs on him. Some of it was justified due to his wanton recklessness and utterly selfish behavior. He quickly became a pariah in the golfing community. He was publicly scorned and quietly shunned by the sport and the golfing community he had once loved. It was expected, he had brought it on himself.
Billy Casper however, took a different approach. He welcomed Tiger with open arms. He made one golden rule that Tiger must abide by, every time Billy and Tiger saw each other Billy got to hug him. Tiger reluctantly agreed and the first few times the hugs were awkward and uncomfortable. Making it seemingly even more uncomfortable Billy would tell Tiger that he loved him. Billy chose to love Tiger regardless of his poor choices and personal shortcomings. He chose to see Tiger for what he could be and not for what he had chosen to be. Those intimate moments have become a cherished connection between the two. I don’t know how much of a difference it made in Tiger’s life however, Billy Casper made the conscious decision to try and make a difference in the life of someone who needed to feel loved in spite of himself. He chose to love his brother when his brother needed it the most.
Are we any different? Through our life’s journey we will unavoidably offend others and be offended. We will inadvertently step on others toes and likewise have our toes be stepped on. Human nature is such that it is easier to hold a grudge towards someone than it is to forgive those that offend and yet we all need the opportunity for personal redemption.
We live in an increasingly complex world. Turn on the news or read the newspaper and what is highlighted are the stories that emphasis the ugliness of the human experience. Neighbor pitted against neighbor, insatiable greed, countrymen killing one another over religious differences and political corruption.
Conversely, if media outlets chose to focus on the positive and highlighted stories about all of the good that happens would that make a difference in the world we live in today? I argue that it would. I am a firm believer that a rising tide lifts all boats. So if they’re not going to do it then we have too. We have to be the rising tide. We have to elevate ourselves above the fray. We have to be better than we are. Each one of us has a choice; we can choose to make a difference. We can choose to serve one another. We can choose forgive. We can choose to love. So choose to be the one!