Cheaters Never Win?

Last night we watched a 60 Minutes segment that featured an interview with Tyler Hamilton.  Hamilton was one of Lance Armstrong’s teammates during the years of his Tour De France wins.  Hamilton was recently forced to come forward and testify to what, if any, performance enhancement drug use was going on.  Apparently they are gathering evidence to bring a case against Lance Armstrong.

Tyler Hamilton gave first hand accounts of plenty of drug use by all the major team members, including Lance.  He, himself, decided to give back his Olympic Gold Medal because he didn’t feel he deserved it for his years of using enhancement drugs.  I watched the interview, looking for indications that his story was a lie, but all I saw was someone surrendering and bringing to light something that had burdened them for years.  Aside from getting the feeling that keeping the secret had been a burden, it also seemed telling it was the last thing he wanted to do.  Tyler Hamilton is either a very loyal friend, wishing he didn’t have to be a rat, or he’s an excellent actor.  I believed everything he said.

I never became a fan of Lance Armstrong.  The yellow bracelet fad really bothered me.  I know he’s a great athlete.  I love that he beat cancer and helps that cause as he does.  But I think our American culture took a man and turned him into a deity.   He went beyond celebrity and icon to something more spiritual.  And even as this story breaks there are people who will NEVER believe it because to them he is too high to fall.

But if he did cheat (and based on Tyler’s story, I think he did) what does that say about our culture?  We try to teach our kids that “Cheaters never win and winners never cheat” but everywhere you look people are cheating and winning.  It has happened in political elections, on Wall Street, on the baseball field, and in classrooms across the country.  And when it comes to Armstrong, they let it slide.  He was the cash cow for the sport of biking.  I’d never even heard of the Tour De France before Lance Armstrong came onto the scene.  Suddenly everyone was talking about something that most of them had never cared about before.  Not only was it bad for Lance for the truth to come out, it was bad for the whole sport.  He had to perform at his best and be clean to keep America falling in love with him and biking.

In recent history a lot of truth has come to light about individuals, industries, and organizations cheating or abusing their power.  Does this mean we are beginning to shift the other way?  If they do in fact prove that Lance Armstrong took performance enhancing drugs, will he go to jail?  If he goes to jail will that finally convince us to stop making Gods of men and money?  I believe in playing by the rules.  It’s only the rules that keep people in bondage that are meant to be broken.  The rules that teach us to be fair and respectful, should be followed by everyone-especially the people who are in the limelight, setting examples for our children!


7 thoughts on “Cheaters Never Win?

  1. ThePioneer May 24, 2011 / 12:56 am

    The original expression was not that cheaters never win, but that they never prosper, as in they very well might win, but they can’t turn their wins into long term gains because the get caught in the end. My brother-in-law raced for Specialized for awhile. He got out of professional cycling because he was better than everyone he competed against, then suddenly the day of the race, they were 50% better. He had the choice of giving up professional cycling or taking drugs. He gave it up instead. Even if Lance does go to jail, will the banking CEO’s that destroyed 30% of the world’s wealth? I think not. But this is not a new problem. King David had quite a bit to say about it. So did the Preacher (of Eclesiates..or however you spell it). The important thing is that YOU don’t lose faith. You will “win” on your terms, not by cheating. 🙂

    • lesleehorner May 24, 2011 / 7:38 am

      Yeah, and that is the catch that for most people you hope they have a conscience enough to not be at peace with what they’ve gained through cheating…and then eventually they get caught. I had heard the argument at one time that they shouldn’t waste money bringing cases against sports figures for doping but should use those resources to get the bankers/traders. I agreed with that when I first heard it, but after watching the 60 Minutes it sort of makes me think it’s a valid issue.

  2. Adrian Fogelin May 24, 2011 / 8:47 am

    Oh how we long for heroes! We keep hoping that unlike us, they will prove to be infallible, perfect. That they are not speaks poorly of them. That we keep hoping they will live up to our expectations speaks well of us. The human heart is optimistic. It’s just sad that it is so often fooled.

    • lesleehorner May 24, 2011 / 3:38 pm

      I hear you, Adrian. This is why I struggle with the idea that has been presented to me that everyone needs a spiritual teacher or guru of sorts. It sucks when you realize that someone you think is so enlightened is actually just a human being.

      • Rob May 25, 2011 / 2:55 pm

        Dear Leslee,
        You said, ‘This is why I struggle with the idea that has been presented to me that everyone needs a spiritual teacher or guru of sorts. It sucks when you realize that someone you think is so enlightened is actually just a human being.’

        It’s not either – or. It’s more like a scale or a matter of degree. Each person, at any moment, could be connected to an ‘enlightenment meter’ (IF such a thing existed, and no, I don’t think such a thing is desirable) and you would find that the degree of their ‘enlightenment’ would vary from moment to moment, from day to day, and from year to year, going up and going down, often with wide swings, but hopefully showing a pattern of long-term growth. That’s just the way it is. ANYONE in a human body, including Jesus, will externalize that humanness to a certain degree (although I would say that Jesus had only a VERY small amount left as witnessed by his doubt just before he was crucified). I’m sure you’ve noticed this in yourself. So, it’s a good thing you were ‘disillusioned’ – that’s an important lesson for anyone to learn and you should be grateful for it. If you hadn’t learned it, there’s a good chance it could have caused you major problems down the road by placing too much faith in someone with feet of clay. Eventually you will be taught from the infinite intelligence within YOURSELF and you will have no more need of teachers/gurus.

        However, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater! There are many people, even many still exhibiting a large amount of humanness, who you can learn from spiritually (or otherwise, for that matter). You have to use your intuition and your discrimination to decide if that ‘teacher’ or that ‘guru’ has anything of value for you, at your and their current state of spiritual evolution. If they do, then gratefully take what you can from him or her, WITHOUT placing this person on a pedestal that is most likely not deserved. Also, consider the idea that your disillusionment may NOT have been an accident or coincidence – that sort of thing is often used as a teaching device and is a very powerful and important one, and that could be the case for you. :~)

        And finally, think about what it means to be ‘just a human being’. A ‘human being’ is a manifestation of Spirit or God or whatever your preferred term is for the infinite, omnipresent intelligence and consciousness that underlies and forms all creation, whether manifest or not yet manifest. God manifests God, and that manifestation appears as YOU.

        If Spirit is omnipresent, it couldn’t be otherwise. Now, it’s true that the vast majority of people do not realize this truth, and so do not display it or experience it, but it’s still the reality of who they are. The part of them (their humanness) that you are reacting negatively to is NOT the truth of them, it is a mask or role they have unconsciously adopted which is simply part of the ‘group human consciousness’ we are all born into and in most cases are totally unaware of. This is a VERY powerful influence on all of us and until we are aware of it we cannot begin to ‘die daily’ to that humanness and begin to show forth more fully that which we really are.

        Well, I’ve gone on long enough….. bye for now!

      • lesleehorner May 25, 2011 / 4:52 pm

        Thanks Rob for chiming in. I definitely have spiritual teachers in my life (like you, Mildred, Jean, and Ray) that I learn a lot from and wouldn’t be where I am without you guys. I love you guys and many other friends who teach me so very much and share the spiritual journey with me. But I’m too much of a skeptic to be able to embrace one person and commit to their teachings alone. And I do so appreciate when people say look to the inner guru. That’s when I know someone is for real, no matter what degree of enlightenment they have reached. (I also have had someone that I looked up to spiritually speaking fall from the pedestal I’d put them on. No one you know btw.)

  3. Rob May 25, 2011 / 7:55 pm

    Well, just to follow up on your comments, there’s nothing wrong with being a skeptic, in fact, I would recommend everyone be skeptics (but only up to a certain point). I’ve always been skeptical towards new teachings, but I am also quick to accept those that resonate with me. I love skeptics in the meditation course I facilitate because then when they experience the effect it is such a contrast to their skeptical attitude that they can’t deny its reality.

    But, having said that, there comes a point when you find a teaching that really resonates with you (and I’ve had several over my lifetime, once I’ve ‘used something up’ I’m ready for something else), and then skepticism has lost its value. When your Higher Self tells you, in no uncertain terms, that ‘this’ (whatever it may be) is for you, then you’ll make the most progress, IMO, by dropping the skepticism and really immersing yourself in that teaching until you are ready for something else. Not to say you can’t also be interested in other teachings; currently I’m focused on one thing but also ‘dabble’ in another – but being a ‘spiritual tourist,’ taking one of those trips where you see 10 countries in 10 days, won’t allow you to get the most out of ANY teaching (not to say that that’s what you are doing, I’m just making a point :~)

    And, in my experience, the real benefit of any teaching comes from the huge ‘AHA’s!’ you get only after that deep immersion. I had one just last night after probably the 10th reading of a certain book, and that one ‘AHA!’ was of more benefit than the total of everything else I had gleaned from the previous 9 readings. So, if you haven’t found something that resonates with you enough that you’re willing to stick with it, then keep looking, as it certainly is out there and is looking for you just as much as you are looking for It.

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