Yesterday, I posed a question to you. I asked if you needed help with a new year’s resolution. Maybe you are not the type who makes these anymore, since they often wear off by March. But — if you’d like help on one, I have some thoughts.
How about this one… Model the life you want others to live.
I hate it when I see hypocrisy in my life. I despise duplicity. I know I’m not perfect, but I want to model integrity — which means wholeness — and be honest about the guy I really am. This is a rare thing for us all to model. We celebrate “appearance” more than authenticity. Don’t believe me? Just check out everyone’s Facebook photos and stories. It’s all about image.
Last week, bad news came out for Ohio State football fans. Five key players on their starting roster got caught selling Ohio State memorabilia to a tattoo parlor. One of them was Heisman hopeful, QB Terrelle Pryor. Yes, it was his own possessions, but the NCAA rules are clear: A player cannot sell property of that kind for personal income. All five will not play in the first five games of next years’ season. The part of the story that stood out for me was the ESPN commentary about the attitudes of the players. They confirm that the players felt badly, but that Terrelle Pryor didn’t get it. Since the 7th grade he’s lived as a god. He felt he was above the rules — after all, he’s awesome. He’s not in touch with the real world. He can do whatever he wants. Well, at least until the NCAA enforces some rules.
On July 6th, Lindsay Lohan was sentenced to 90 days in jail and mandatory rehab for violating probation. Upon sentencing, Lohan put her middle finger in the air and departed when she lost her plea with the judge. Many in Lindsay’s inner circle say she is deeply entangled in a self-sabotaging web of excuses, denial and entitlement. She couldn’t take it when a judge trumped her plans for next Friday. One friend said, “She’s in total shock. The gravity of the situation hasn’t set in.” Wow. I’d say Pryor and Lohan have been drinking the same water. They feel: “I am somehow above the rules and I deserve a break. After all — can’t you see who I am?” Once again, it’s image above substance and integrity.
So, here’s the resolution. Develop some character. This year, why not resolve to be and say who you really are. Model the life you want others to live. Build some backbone inside of you. What Lindsay Lohan and Terrelle Pryor needed most as a kid were adults (coaches, parents, teachers, pastors) who modeled the way, and demanded character, not just talent from them. Your kids need the following from you:
• Say what you mean and mean what you say. Only speak honest words.
• Watch yourself in the little ethical choices that others might notice.
• Act in light of the bigger picture and give more than you take this year.
• Set a personal standard that is higher than the minimum society asks of you.
Will you join me?