There is a quote by the poet and reformer Solon, who once gave fruitful advice to the Croesus, the King of Lydia. At the time Croesus considered himself to be the happiest man alive; he had health, power, and immense wealth. What more could he want?
"Count no man happy until he be dead," advised Solos. A man can be "fortunate" while alive, but only in death, when all the life has been lived, can someone be called "happy." Croesus considered him simple-minded and countered that someone who does not accept great happiness and waits, instead, for impending bad news and death is an arrant fool. Solon soon left the kingdom. Years later, while awaiting execution after his kingdom had been lost to the Persian King Cyrus, Croesus acknowledged the wisdom in Solos' words.
Over the weekend I watched CNN's "The World According to Lance Amstrong" and was sickened by just how his lies encompassed everything he has ever accomplished, professionally and personally. I always wondered about "The Man, the Myth, and the Legend." Lance had everything and retired from the sport at his peak. He had all the money, the endorsements, a huge and successful charitable organization and could, in many ways, do no wrong.
But, like OJ, Pete Rose, Barry Bonds, and notable others, he will never be considered happy. In the wake of his guilt, like the others, we are busy reassessing the past while building names, street names, and other legacy items are being changed or erased.
The unfortunate thing about Lance is the huge number of victims left in the wake. Taking another term from ancient Greek is "hubris." If this was a drug, Lance had it, naturally, in spades. He considered himself untouchable and in the same fashion as some other modern day zealots he believed in his own web of lies. He was innocent of all charges and anyone that questioned him should be subjected to the wrath of his clan, especially if that person was telling the truth and implicated him. In the CNN special the 2005 deposition of Lance, in his lawyer's office, he is so contradictory to the mounting evidence and other testimony it almost looks like a conspiracy of everyone against Lance. If you believe Lance.
Which you should; because he's Lance.
In his own words: "I am the faith of all the cancer survivors around the world. So everything I do off of the bike would go away too. And don't think for a second I don't understand that. It's not about money for me. [It's about] everything. It's also about the faith that people have put in me over the years. So all of that would be erased. So I don't need it to say in a contract you're fired if you test positive. That's not as important as losing the support of hundreds of millions of people."
I truly doubt it had much to do with the cancer survivors. It had everything to do with Lance. He really wanted to be "The Man, the Myth, and the Legend." He is. But now they're mutually exclusive. RIP.
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