"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25

"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25
Midnight Blue (1963): Jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell featuring Stanley Turrentine on tenor saxophone, Major Holley on double bass, Bill English on drums and Ray Barretto on conga. Midnight Blue is one of Burrell’s best-known works for Blue Note Records. In 2005, NPR included the album in its "Basic Jazz Library", describing it as "one of the great jazzy blues records".

He said, She said...

"You are not designed for everyone to like you - Wise Man Phil

FRAGILE: Sting, Yo Yo Ma, Dominic Miller & Chris Botti

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Jim Tressel

Lie: a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth; a falsehood. 

I think everyone would agree, along with coach Tressel, that this week has been the toughest week in his professional career. Many people have watched from the sideline as this larger than life drama has unfolded on the national stage. Another undeniable fact is the amount of polarizing opinions concerning college football, the NCAA, the Ohio State University and Jim Tressel himself.

Before I begin I must add a disclaimer and say I am not here to judge the man, but to opine on Coach Tressel's poor decision not to be forthcoming, and to further the conversation on why people do what they do.

More specifically, to discuss why people lie, what the root of this common behavior trait is and to discuss what the consequences are for those decisions to be and not to be honest.

is always the best policy.

As I mentioned earlier I'm not here to pass judgment on the man. I have failed in many areas of my life leaving me in no position to cast any stones or serve any harsh judgment. I have lied, cheated and committed adultery in past marriage(s) and relationships. I have cheated on expense reports, and lied about it, earlier in my professional career and I have used drugs in the past. And in the wake of the many poor decisions I have made, and the lies I have told, I have two broken marriages, two children born out of wedlock and the loss of a job due to termination to show for it. I think it's safe to say that my past is more checkered than the flag NASCAR uses every Sunday afternoon and because of that fact I have no desire to judge another human being.

Doing so would make "me" a complete hypocrite.

My interest in discussing this sad affair is not to entertain the "cast the first stone" crowd or side with the "he is a cheater, liar and hypocrite" crowd. I find courting either party to be difficult and unwise, more times than not I find both of these crowds to be self-righteous and somewhat disingenuous.

One group are frauds and the other group are cowards... I will leave you to figure out which one is the fraud and which one is the coward.

I think, and believe, we as a community of observers can do better than that.

There is a middle ground that we all must seek while casting, and voicing, our opinions on certain subjects. By no means am I referring to compromising the truth or eliminating what is considered the right thing to do. My only point is that in order for reasonable, and rational, commentary and dialogue to occur a measured approach must be taken that is clothed in reserved, and responsible, forms of criticism.

We all know the right thing that should have occurred in this situation, but many of us do such a poor job in expressing it.

In the end my interest is more in the behavior and less in the man. This is simple for me to do because I know everyone reading this has lied more than once in their lives.

And if I were to judge the man, and I don't think anyone should, I think it would be wise of me to read the whole book and not just a few "selected" chapters of the book that is his life. Besides, last I checked coach Tressel is still writing his book entitled "My Life". 

All of us that are still breathing are writing the same book too.

OSU: 2001-

Stuart Chase, an American economist, commented; “For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don’t believe, no proof is possible.” I believe coach Tressel's current situation to be one of the finest examples of those very words. 

As I mentioned earlier one of things I wanted to take a closer look at is why people lie in the first place.

I believe the reason people lie is because it is easier than telling the truth in certain situations.

Pretty simple.

And I believe many times what causes us to lie is fear and pride.

More times than not a situation will occur that can be small or large in nature, but nonetheless, can equally cause varying degrees of discomfort when we are confronted about them. In many of these instances we will respond with panic or we will respond by ignoring the whole situation all together. Both of these responses are born out of fear. Procrastination and panic are both the passive and aggressive responses to fear. Many times both of these ill advised responses will lead us to be dishonest. At the end of the day we are dishonest because we fear the consequences of telling the truth. We often are guilty of over-predicting the reaction of telling the truth, which ironically, is far worse when we lie than when we tell the truth.


The other reason we are dishonest is because of pride. We are too concerned and prideful about what others will think of us. Webster defines pride as a high or inordinate opinion of one's own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc. Pride is as misleading as incorrect directions and is a form of arrogance that is draped in denial. The one thing we must remember is that we are never as great as people say we are, nor are we as bad as people say we are. We are often somewhere in the middle.

3.8.2011 press conference 

Stephen Covey once said, "While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions."

Whether we tell the truth or choose to be dishonest consequences will always follow.

The choice is ours and the consequences we face are ours.

The Latin word for consequences is consequentia. The word consequentia finds its origin during the Middle English period 1350-1400; the second period of four English language periods. It literally means "to follow after".

Webster defines consequences as an act or instance of following something as an effect, result, or outcome.

There are consequences for everything we do. Something always follows a decision we make. This has been a reality since the beginning of time and was originally introduced to mankind in the third chapter of Genesis.

First, let's look at three consequences for being dishonest. 

No Peace... 
Most of the time when we lie we feel a certain amount of guilt, shame and even physical pain at times. Lying also causes anxiety and depression as we often worry that our lies will be revealed. All of these scenarios paint a picture that is without peace. Abraham Lincoln once said; "that when I do good I feel good and when I do bad I feel bad." In the end, lying often makes things worse for us and everyone involved.

Fractured, and or, Loss of Relationships...

Lying often separates people physically and emotionally. When we are dishonest with one another we often avoid coming into contact with the other party. Lying ruins marriages, friendships and work relationships. In basketball when a player takes a bad shot it often leads to putting the team in a poor position defensively and reduces their ability to defend effectively, the same is true when we lie. When we are dishonest it usually puts many people around us in a bad position. In many instances we lose far more than we gain when we lie.

Diminished trust...

When we are caught lying we reduce the amount of trust we are afforded in the future, and at the very least we eliminate any benefit of doubt we may potentially gain when the issue of honesty circles back around. It is a simple fact that when we lie to people they tend to loss respect for us. It only takes a second to lie, but it takes a lifetime to regain another's trust.

The choice is ours...

The term consequences always seem to be used, or refereed to, in a negative manner. Phrases like, "pregnancy with consequences" and "there will be consequences for your actions" both have a negative connotation. By definition consequence refers to an event that follows an event. There is no predetermination that the event will be good or bad, just basic commentary that with every action there is always a reaction of some sort... that reaction is the consequence of a prior decision that was made.

In the end consequences can be good and they can be bad. 

With that being said, let's look at three consequences for telling the truth.

Provides Peace... 

If lying takes away our peace then being truthful provides us with peace. Pretty simple. It is liberating when we tell the truth. We are free from stress of being found out and from the anxiety of prolonging and remembering the lie. Mark Twain stated; "If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything." We sleep better at night, we eat better during the day and our general emotional well being is better if we practice being honest. When we lie we become the victim of self-criticism and justification, and when we are honest we grow in self confidence and in maturity. Honesty provides peace and you can never put a price tag on peace.

Builds a Respectful Reputation...
When we practice honesty people are more inclined to follow our lead and in turn be truthful with us. When we are honest we will often gain others support. Two of my favorite quotes about reputation are from Benjamin Franklin and a Chinese Proverb. Franklin stated; "It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it." and the Chinese Proverb reads; "Don't consider your reputation and you may do anything you like." Our reputation is our characters credit score and you can't buy anything without good credit, and you can't gain someone's respect if you have a bad reputation.

Builds Trust...
When people can trust you it will afford you, like a good reputation, their support. The ironic thing about trust is that it opens up any relationship to having honest communication. Trust doesn't happen naturally nor does it happen overnight, it takes time and effort to gain someone's trust. And it takes a consistent commitment to being honest and truthful in all situations. 

Building trust is hard, breaking trust is easy.

To whom much is given much is required...

When writing this piece I purposefully stayed away from reciting a lot of scripture and speaking to the WWJD philosophy. Anyone who has ever read anything that I've written knows about my faith in Jesus Christ, but I thought a bunch of bible verses was the easy, and somewhat the self-righteous way to go. But if I'm to share one verse it would be from the book of Matthew:

"But let your 'Yes' be 'Yes' and your 'No' be 'No'..."
-Matthew 5:37

Pretty simple.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this piece it was not my goal to bash coach Tressel unmercifully nor did I want to sweep under the rug his actions. What I did want to share with the reader was the fact that we all have lied and to discuss some of the reasons why we choose to be dishonest and what the consequences are for being less than truthful. I really respect, and admire, coach Tressel and it was important that came across to the reader.

I hope my goal was accomplished.

I have been a Gators fan for over twenty years and my love for the SEC is second to none and most people that know me are familiar with my views on the BIG TEN and my disappointment with the Buckeye Nation "vocal minority". In a word Buckeye fans drive me crazy... not all, but most. Most Buckeye fans are devoid of any perspective or any objectivity. But with that being said, I really appreciate coach Tressel's demeanor on and off the field. I believe him to be a man of principles, a man of integrity and I believe him to be a man that failed. He failed his superiors, he failed the young men he coaches, he failed the institution he is employed by and he failed himself.

He also failed God.

I understand this fact because I do it everyday.

We all eventually answer to someone...

The only reason I say that is because I know Jim Tressel to be a devout Christian and a man of God. I also know that God disciplines those he loves.

I think everyone can agree that he is being severely disciplined publicly right now. And with the national hypocritical cry that is at the forefront of most conversations and observations, I don't believe it compares to how Jim Tressel the man feels when he goes to bed at night nor do I believe it compares to the internal dialogue he is having with himself.

I know the man feels awful for the decisions he made concerning this situation.

He blew it. We know it and he knows it.

We ask a lot of our leaders and Coach Tressel is no different. We pay leaders more, we praise leaders more and we expect more out of our leaders. Dr Henry Cloud in his book Integrity speaks to the fact that character is the ability to meet the demands of our reality and that integrity is the courage to meet the demands of our reality. The point being that we all have some degree of character, but that it takes courage to have integrity. 

Integrity takes courage and I'm sure that over the next thirty days or so I will be presented with a challenge that will require me to display integrity. Trust me; it is much easier writing about something than to do the very thing you're writing about. I have no idea the position I might be put in or the position I might put myself in, but I hope that my courage is greater than my ability.

In the movie "Do the Right Thing" Da Mayor, played by Ozzie Davis, instructed Mookie, played by Spike Lee, on the single most important thing we can do while here on earth:

Da Mayor: Doctor.
Mookie: C'mon, what? What?
Da Mayor: Always do the right thing.
Mookie: That's it?
Da Mayor: That's it.
Mookie: I got it. I'm gone.

Pretty simple right?

I wish it was that simple. I really do wish it was that simple to always do the right thing.

It's really great to see everyone else, including the national media, has it figured out and that it's simple for them to always do the right thing.

Coach Tressel you are a good man and good men, like all men, make mistakes. 

It's that simple.

sbb  12.3.2011

1 comment:

Jedi0077 said...

Very, very well said.