By Dan A.
There was no shortage of disappointment this week as two of the most beloved national figures took a mighty fall from grace.
America mourned & cheered with Manti Te’o only to find out the entire story was a complete hoax. And, to add to that kick in the stomach, Lance Armstrong confirmed what many have suspected for years — he too was a complete and total fraud.
As these stories broke they were met by ample commentary from fans and foes on social media:
How could this happen? They were one of the good guys! I never saw that one coming!
That was followed by some good old fashioned anger and defiance:
‘I’m never going to believe in anyone ever again! My faith in humanity is lost!’
It seems that every time someone comes along with the slightest glimmer of promise, and our faith is restored that sometimes the “good guys” do finish first. And then they fall, lose their “good guy” status, and get thrown in the “dirtbag” category with the others.
And so it goes, the vicious cycle of hope fails continues.
Why do we keep getting let down? Here’s my thesis: (Warning! Faith-in-humanity spoiler alert!) There are no good people on the planet. Not even one.
We desperately want to believe that there’s at least at least one left. But the reality is we are merely a collection of broken & flawed souls who are trying to do our best, but are inherently incapable of doing so.
We are all selfish.
We all have inconsistencies.
We all stumble.
We all have moments we regret
We’ve all acted out of greed, anger, selfishness, pride, impatience, or even vengeance.
Therefore, placing your faith, hope & trust in people will only lead to disappointment.
Sure, some of our flaws are more glaring than others (see Weiner-gate). But if you are clinging to Tim Tebow, Barack Obama, Tom Hanks, Marco Rubio, or even your own mom & dad: this I can guarantee: one way or another, you will be let down. So stop putting people up on perfection pedestals. Parents, don’t allow your child to idolize others. God fearing folks should know better – it’s right there in the top 10 – but aside from that, idolizing someone and putting tons of posters up on the bedroom wall is a little creepy. Stalkers do that too.
You are setting yourself up to fail. From Presidents to peasants, people, including yours truly, suck.
How many examples is it going to take before we accept this fact?
Nixon, Clinton, and a gazillion other politicians.
Bonds, McGuire, Sosa, A-Rod, Clemens, Kobe, Marion Jones, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, OJ Simpson,Jerry Sandusky.
Jim Bakker, Ted Haggert, catholic priests and numerous other Christian leaders.
Even the most honorable institution, the military, isn’t immune: from soldiers abusing dead corpses & stacking up naked Iraqis in humiliation pyramids to the seemingly impeccable character of General Petreus, examples of failure are easy to find.
There’s not enough internet space to list the Hollywood examples. But you get the picture.
Faith in humanity is futile. I beg you, America, stop it. Just STOP IT. It’s better to accept humanity for what it is. Flawed. Place your hope elsewhere. Hope is a powerful thing. It can build us up, it can make us soar. But, when we place it in the wrong hands, it can be taken from us. It can crush the soul and lead to despair.
So place your hope carefully. Use it wisely. Find something that never changes, never moves, never lies, never cheats, never steals, never hates and never fails. And put all of it there.
And if you can find someone other than God who fits the bill, let me know.