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Ch3/Issue #7/Final Word

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Sports & Extra-Curricular


Installment 26
Chapter Three-Gaining Perspective One issue At A Time
Issue #7-Advanced But Not mature
Final Word

Installment #26


Quintessential Advanced But Not Mature


Tiger Woods--all grown-up, EXTRAORDINARILY talented, UNBELIEVABLY ACCOMPLISHED, MUCHO FAMOUS, blessed with a lovely family and many friends, holding ENORMOUS respect and admiration of people beyond the sports world and lo and behold, emotionally immature and self-absorbed Give away: My needs still come first. I still act impulsively and do not consider consequences.  I will still try to cover and hide and lie and cheat my way out of trouble or through a mess. I am still sneaking out of the house, lying about my whereabouts, coveting my privacy-so much so that I doth protest too much! I get really, really irate when someone challenges my honesty! How dare they question my word! I whine, I cannot confront nor can I take responsibility. There is no difference between toddler, teenager and Tiger Woods.  The stakes just get bigger with wife, children, and global reputation.


Money and fame are not easily handled.  They take a lot of moral grounding in ethics and principles to control. That is why we start early putting the horse BEFORE the cart.

This is why we allow our kids to take baby responsibility steps and experience consequences for non-threatening actions and decisions. That is how they learn who they are and how the world operates. Ethics are not created in a vacuum. They come first from empathy-an ability to feel for others. (See Heart) If one truly desires not to hurt those one loves, then one will not want do something terribly hurtful.  This is not rocket science! But, if personal desire trumps empathy then one can and will do whatever they need to do to satisfy their own needs, and will, therefore not develop ethics.  Emotional Selfishness means I come first. I protect myself first. I  need to receive first. Often when we have children, that egocentric focus disappears and something new clicks in—our deep desire to protect our child and embetter his or her life.  My grandmother used to say; children bring their own luck.  They do.  They make us better human beings.  They force us to seek a higher purpose. Children make us come to terms with our priorities and our principles. They give us a moral wake up call.  But, in Tiger’s case, it didn’t happen.  He didn’t think-how will this impact my family and my children. He had no real empathy. He showed no ethics.


Dear Tiger, Dear Tiger, Dear Tiger, this is NOT about an invasion of your privacy, my dear. You gave that up the moment you became an icon and an endorsement. You do not have the right to become a public figure, take advantage of your fame and fortune to act privately in such a destructive way and then say, this is only about my family. This is not about just you and your family.  This is about many others who supported you, rooted for you, considered you honorable and admired who you were perceived as being.  This about young people who considered you a role model. You are yet another anti-role model (that I talked about in Sports & Extra-Curricular ) about whom it will now have to be said--you just play golf, you don’t own golf.  Golf is bigger than you.  And kids can grow up to be a better role model than you. As Andrea Peyser wrote in her article Clown Exposed as Fraud (New York Post, December 3,2009).

He has disgraced his game.  He has trashed his life and embarrassed his kids.  He has treated the law like a minor inconvenience (supposedly Ms Peyser also said he was quoted as saying ‘do you know who I am’). And he blames the media, while asking for privacy?’


This is like the old joke about the kid who murders his parents and then before the judge says-have mercy on me, I’m an orphan!


 Tiger, Tiger, Tiger you finally got caught (with your pants still on??!!) You were not pro-active about your cheating.  You did not sit down with your wife and seek counsel before you got caught which would have been the very private, grown-up, and principled way to handle whatever problems you were having, No one would then have had the right to intrude upon you. You were very publicly caught running away and avoiding which is why your apology is hollow. You are saying how terrible you feel after the fact? Of course you are. You got caught!


Tiger, Tiger, Tiger it will take a lot more than saying I’m sorry.

You have to grow up. Toddlers, children, and teenagers always have our forgiveness because they are still a work in progress; they are still learning life lessons; and they are still developing and testing ethics. They wil have to make some mistakes and fail in order to mature and evolve.  You are what I coined in my prefacePreface and my interviewPODCAST:(August 3, 2009) H20 to Go! —an adult toddler with tantrums and upsets, avoidance (which is far different from privacy) and self-absorption.  For what not to do with our talented and gifted kids(e.g spoil and over-protect) I could not have asked for a better example than you, Tiger. You are quintessential advanced but not mature!

Margo Judge

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