“I get no satisfaction when I see a good man fall, one who was so tall.”
This week, in the US we all witnessed a very public fall from grace of another leader…. and though it has been painful to watch…. (even more painful for he and his family…… especially his wife)….. there’s still that feeling we all share…… hiding just under the surface perhaps….. that he deserved it.
You’re awful Muriel?
What is it about the humiliation of another that we enjoy so much?
And it’s not just the demise of celebrities that gets us all excited. Don’t we feel somehow justified (or vindicated) when someone from our past ‘gets shafted’…. you know….. that person who ignored us at a party……. that boss who fired us unjustly…… that bank that denied us the loan ……that teacher who belittled our precious dreams….. hey the list goes on and on.
Do we keep an internal score sheet and tick them off as they tumble?
I don’t know too much about Elliott Spitzer’s doings….. all I know is that by the grace of God go I.
And if had walked in his shoes would I have done any better? Of course I’d like to think so….. but I know myself too well. So though my initial reaction to the ‘breaking news’ was of eager anticipation….. “give me all the dirt”…… deep down I knew that this man, no matter his failings, was about to go down hard….. and that all his friends would scatter.
I wondered… who was going reach out and help him get back on his feet?
Have you heard of the saying “be careful when you dig a pit that you don’t fall in it”?
What goes around does comes around and I have read that NY stock brokers, many of whom felt victimized by the Governor’s probings, reacted with glee over the public defrocking. Spitzer did after all get caught in the type of corruption against which he so vehemently railed.
Hey, but don’t we all?
When Shakespeare said…. and I quote “He protesteth too much”….. he was speaking about all of us.
If you take an honest look at your pet peeves….. you may just find that you are guilty of the very same.
No! Not me he cried!
I know I am guilty of a long list of crimes….. I hate gossip but I am so quick to share it….. I abhor hypocrisy, especially from leaders of politics, religion and morality, but I am a hypocrite for judging them more harshly than I judge myself….. I am repulsed by injustice and though I will fight for causes immediate to my attention I turn a blind eye to the annihilation of peoples in foreign lands….. I say I love my neighbor, but I am very selective…… I forgive but keep reminding people of their wrongdoings….. I give to the poor but keep the best for myself.
I am not a very nice person.
Poor Mr Spitzer….. he’s a lot like me….. he just lives in the spotlight….. and no one can hide under all that pressure….. and all that heat. Put me in his place…. and under the same public scrutiny, civic expectations, media attention and that big bright shiny light of success….. and what ever cracks or faults I have …….well they would just get bigger and bigger……. until everyone could see through them.
We all fall now and then….. when we forget who we really are. The trick is to avoid mantle pieces and pedestals.
Consider the story of Humpty Dumpty. What was an egg doing on top of the wall ….. he was bound to fall……. and not even the King’s men could put him back together again.
We fall because our balance mechanism, which runs on humility….. fails.
However, unlike Humpty, a fall from a high place (that we created perhaps) can actually be good for us.
It hurts. Our pride gets bruised, we carry shame for a season…… but if we are honest with ourselves…. admit to our blind spots and weaknesses….. listen to those who love us…. and learn from our mistakes…… well….. we grow, we heal, we mature…… and we may just develop an ounce or two of wisdom and a drop or two of grace …. that we can then share with others who fall into the same pit.
Elliott may not realize this yet, but actually, he’s in a better place right now than he was before he got caught….. hmmm…. with his pants down (I had to say it). Now….. perhaps the healing process can begin.
I just hope that someone in his world can get off their high horse for a moment and love the man, in the same manner they would want to be loved….. if they were in his shoes.
“When I’m down and out, I hope somebody reaches out, and takes me by the hand and lifts me up and puts me back on my feet.”