I want to write just a little bit about the whole social response to Tiger Woods and his admission of infidelity to his wife, Elin. And since he and Elin are the parents of two very young children, I think it may not be over the line to say that he has strayed from something much bigger and more significant than just his relationship with one woman.
It's always a shock to realize how imperfect you are, and I mean that sincerely.
Item One that Troubles Me: I know. We all know. Any grown-up aware of your situation knows. You are the last to know.
I don't believe that I am any better than this man, or better than any other person. I was raised in a faith tradition that says all are flawed, and to tell yourself otherwise is to head down a dangerous and arrogant path. So please, stop educating me, and stop acting like admitting you are human is some Big Revelation to anyone but you. It's insulting. I encourage this conversation with yourself, but truly you are the last to know. We know.
Item Two that Troubles Me: As a society, we are more and more likely to say that this failure is not relevant.
I believe that the only the two people in a marriage who know what it is and what is going on (and sometimes not even then) is, well, those two people. I myself have been divorced. I am not interested in encouraging judgement on the highs and lows of other people's relationships. But I'm also a little freaked-out that we seem to have swung from making adulterly an offense punishable by death, to shrugging it off and saying it doesn't have anything to do with "us."
When we say as a society that it is irrelevant, and everyone votes in their online polls about how they don't care about his personal life, it feels to me like we are turning our backs on a very sad and vulnerable situation. We are saying, look, just play golf, and you -- the Mrs. -- quit complaining, there is plenty of money in this for you, the kids will eat, and it will all be fine.
I'm pretty sure no on in the Woods' house is fine. And it's painful to me that the public choice seems to be to say it's none of our business and who cares, or to make jokes or attack the participants in some way.
On Father's Day, the NY Times ran a beautiful feature on this family: how they loved each other, how it was a dream come true, how they inspired other people in so many ways. That was about 6 months ago. I don't think I'll ever forget that picture.
Please don't think I'm saying I have the answers. I'm not saying that.
But I am saying that if we can't stand up for the fact that it is a big deal when a family is permanently scarred by these kinds of choices and events, we are in worse trouble than I already thought.
Photo credit OSU: http://www.flickr.com/photos/osucommons/3528718369/