Down with “God” – The Problem with Tiger Woods
Tiger’s father, Earl, apparently told his son, over and over, that he would be a catalyst of change in the world, that he was “special,” that golf was his vehicle to greatness. Bad parenting. All Earl did was inflate Tiger’s ego – and self-image – beyond reasonable human bounds. Earl was manufacturing a God – a perfect being, whom all others would adore, not just admire.
Tiger took it all in and became the icon he was “meant” to be – almost. Somewhere inside Tiger-the-God lay Tiger-the-human, just waiting to reclaim his rightful place in the mortal world. And that he certainly has done.
I feel sorry for Tiger. He’s lived a lie most of his life – “I am holier than thou” – and now that lie has been exposed. Now, he has to face his mortal self, and that may take some time.
Tiger’s self-reverence went to his head, starting, most likely, at a very young age. And it consumed him from the inside out. As much as he may be the poster child for the dangers of self-made celebrity perfection, he’s not alone. There are others – other sports figures, politicians (God knows!), CEOs, and just plain folk, who lose touch with who they truly are, set impossible standards for themselves, create God-like personas, and set themselves up for inevitable failure, shame and embarrassment. It’s not worth it.
If Tiger can achieve a more realistic understanding of himself – his earthly, rather than his “saintly,” gifts – he stands a chance of re-engaging people in positive ways. With his fame, he might indeed get people to listen to his more humble, but important message: Be yourself, know your limits as well as your strengths, keep both feet on the ground at all times. If that happens, redemption will be his – and Tiger might actually become the catalyst of positive change in the world his father wanted him to be.