What will Lance do now? Although disgraced at the moment…

Like President Clinton, he is a winner and he will return.

In Paris with his three oldest children: Luke (now 13) and twin girls Grace and Isabelle

In Paris with his three oldest children: Luke (now 13) and twin girls Grace and Isabelle

So why did Lance choose to come forward now? Many are saying that he did it for selfish reasons—just so he could participate in sanctioned races. But I think the main reason(s) are right there beside him in this photo—his children.

Clearly, the most painful part of the interview was when Lance talked about overhearing his son, Luke (13), defending his dad to some other kids. At that moment, he knew that he simply must make things right—no matter what the consequences. And now he has begun the “process” of doing just that.

That “process” may end up costing him his entire fortune (and more)—but it can’t take away the fact that he is recognized by over one billion people in the world—about half of which (according to surveys) have probably already forgiven him. And there will be more. With history as a guide, we know that most people will ultimately forgive him for his cheating and lies—as long as he is sincere and begins to earn back the global respect that he once had.

Lance and OprahI took one of those online polls a few days ago where you get to see the poll results instantly. On the U.S. News & World Report poll, 40% agree with me; with 60% of Americans saying that they cannot forgive him—yet.

But, as has been the case with other famous cheaters in this country (Clinton, Woods, Schwarzenegger, Sanford, Petraeus, etc.), those numbers are likely to swing back in Lance’s favor in the future—particularly if he spends the rest of life doing some truly noble things. Look what has happened with Bill Clinton—who now enjoys the highest approval ratings of his entire career.

In a USA Today article after the Oprah interview, it was suggested that Lance consider Bill Clinton the role model for recovery from public scandal. How did he do it? From the article (See link below)….

This man has first-hand knowledge of the power of plant-based nutrition to reverse chronic disease---and his appearance suggests that his near-optimal vegan diet seems to working in more areas than just his formerly contested arteries.

Once impeached and disgraced, this former cheater has now “got the world in his hands.”

Partly by confessing, notably in 1998 at a White House clergy prayer breakfast where — his eyes welling at times with tears — he said, “I have sinned” and “I have repented.” Partly by good works, notably since leaving office and founding the Clinton Global Initiative.

Parham, the ethicist, says he views Clinton’s entire post-presidency as a form of penance for the havoc he wreaked by getting involved with Lewinsky.

So what kind of good deeds from Lance could do the most good for those he hurt, for his country, for the world? I refer to Oprah’s final words of the two-part interview, saying that she hoped the moral of Lance’s story would be that “the truth will set you free.” Indeed it was the need to be totally truthful with his 13-year old son that led him to confess his sins to the world. The lack of truth in his life was literally killing him and it was hurting the people he loved most.

But now the truth can set him free.

Assessing the damage. Okay, he has been a bully and a jerk, and he cheated in a bunch of cycling events; then he defiantly lied about it for many years. And that ended up hurting family, friends, teammates, sponsors, and the millions of cancer victims who believed in him. And some of them will never forgive him—even though his cheating and lies never physically harmed or killed anyone.

While there are no doubt millions of cancer survivors who’re pretty disappointed in Lance right now, his LiveStrong Foundation has indeed raised hundreds of millions of dollars for battling cancer on their behalf. And, as was the case with Bill Clinton, he can recover from one of the lowest points of his life—if he does the right things. A fierce competitor, he can win back most of his former fans—including millions who may be unable to forgive him right now.

But he must be truly contrite (genuinely feel and show remorse) and he must take huge steps to make amends to all those he has hurt. Finally, he must tackle a HUGE global issue—preferably one that has been driven by lies and misinformation—and spend the rest of his life telling the whole TRUTH about that issue. Can you guess where I am going with this?

This image may help remind you of what is at stake the next time you sit down to dinner -- reminds me of our "apple planet" on the cover of our book.

Our food choices affect the world in more ways than most people know; indeed they directly impact the longterm sustainability of our species.

What global issue should he tackle? The one about the lack of truth when it comes to the staggering consequences of our food choices. I argued in our book AND in 716 consecutive daily blogs—that there has never been anything more important in the history of the world.

Let’s take a look at just three of those truths  that need to be told about our food choices:

1. Heart disease “is a toothless paper tiger that need never exist and if it does exist, it need never progress. It can also be easily be reversed in 95% of the cases by a simple shift to a whole foods, plant-based diet.” Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr., The Cleveland Clinic. Why is this truth about our nation’s #1 killer not being told to ALL heart patients? Indeed to ALL people before they develop heart disease?

2. Cancer. “Casein (the protein in cow’s milk), is the most relevant chemical carcinogen ever identified.” T. Colin Campbell, PhD, Cornell University School of Nutritional Science. He worded that truth like this in The China Study,  saying that “[V]ery likely all animal proteins may be the most relevant cancer-causing substances that we consume.” Why is this powerful truth not being told to all parents and why is it not being taught in all schools?

2. World Hunger. Our typical western diet is grossly wasteful, harmful and unsustainable. If all seven billion people on Earth tried to eat “our” diet, four billion of them would starve to death. There is simply not enough land and water for everyone to eat this diet. Why are the scientists and the media not telling us about this? Why is it not being taught in our schools? 

Billions of human lives are at stake—indeed the longterm sustainability of the human species hangs in the balance—and “the truth” will set us free.

But why Lance? People will argue that we should have a totally honest “hero” to lead our grassroots revolution. They will argue that no one will believe anything that he has to say in the future. But I disagree. By sincerely doing the right things, his approval ratings will improve and he will once again be able to influence the thinking of billions of people on this planet.

They both cheated. They both lied. But they're both winners.

They both cheated. They both lied. But they’re both winners.

I am thinking of a “dream-team” for leading our grassroots revolution—Lance Armstrong and President Clinton. I believe that Clinton would welcome Lance with open arms to his famous “Health Matters” campaign at the Clinton Global Initiative.

Although Bill Clinton has personal knowledge of the power of plant-based nutrition to reverse chronic disease, so far his CGI has come up short on clarity when it comes to sharing that life-saving information with the rest of the world.

Coincidentally, both Lance and Clinton have learned about the powers of plant-strong eating from the Esselstyn family. President Clinton reversed his own heart disease by applying Dr. Esselstyn’s recommendations to his daily eating habits and Lance is a friend of Rip Esselstyn, the son of Dr. Esselstyn. They are both triathletes and residents of Austin, Texas, and I am confident that Lance has a pretty good idea of what a near-optimal diet is all about. —My 716th consecutive daily blog—716

As I stated earlier, no one has ever died because of Lance’s cheating and lies. But how many millions have died because of the lies and confusion that we are fed from our collective system of medicine—food producers—academia? How many millions of lives could Lance’s message save if he spent the rest of his life promoting the complete, health-promoting truth about a whole foods, plant-based diet?

What we need is clarity—and the dream team of Clinton & Armstrong could reach billions with just that. And, somewhere along the way, Lance would regain much of the dignity and respect that his cheating and lies have taken away.

A fierce competitor---this man will ride again, and I would be proud to "ride" with him.

A fierce competitor—this man will ride again, and I would be proud to “ride” with him.

Handy 4-piece take-charge-of-your-health kit—from Amazon.com

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J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

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Blogging daily at hpjmh.com…from the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.

—J. Morris Hicks, board member, T. Colin Campbell Foundation

About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
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9 Responses to What will Lance do now? Although disgraced at the moment…

  1. Claire Wilson says:

    Good comments Jim and I do believe that of all the guys you listed, Arnold, Woods, Petraeus etc, Lance has the best chance at doing good and achieving forgiveness because of his work with and creating LIVESTRONG so I see him with some extra points already on the check list. It will be a slow progress but I think it can be done. I for one do forgive him though forgetting impossible as with Clinton. He’a hurt many and he’s hurting now and it is not my place to judge him and it takes too much energy to hate a person. I’ll use my energy for other things thank you.

    I commend you for your thoughts and for seeing a way out of the hate people have for this guy as you’ve given me much to think about. Hopefully you’ll be able to reach out and touch him in some way and if so, would you let him know that his future is not impossible and there are those of us out here who are rooting for the guy.

    Thanks again for giving me much to think about and to ponder. Keep up the good work Jim.


  2. Patricia says:

    J. Morris Hicks,

    You are good at what you do. I like how you are able to see a bigger picture with not just the Lance scenario yet with others that you have been able to envision a different outcome than most. Enjoy your posts. Keep doing what you are doing – it helps keep me on target.


  3. J. Morris Hicks says:

    We need more than one leader. We need all the leaders we can get. I call your attention to a link below Lance’s picture at the end of today’s blog—“My case for why we need all the leadership we can get.” In that piece, I included the following paragraph:

    It is a fact that world-famous people like Bill Clinton, Lance Armstrong, Tiger Woods, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and David Petraeus can still influence millions, if not billions of people. The bottom line is we need all the well-known leaders we can get. And there are a lot more leaders who have sinned than there are those who have always been righteous.

  4. Joanne Irwin says:

    Forgiveness is the hardest undertaking for us humans, but to forgive is our calling. We may never forget, but we can choose to forgive. The example of forgiveness has been modeled by the great spiritual leaders of history. Lance will be forgiven. His shame and pain will walk with him the rest of his life, and will, no doubt, weigh heavily on his shoulders. What he did was reprehensible, but is there anyone out there who’s never done anything wrong. I guess not!

  5. CJ says:

    Forgiveness, when based on true contrition, is healing. I’m with you, Jim, if Lance can really make an honest effort to make good, I’m ready to forgive and support him. He’s inspired millions and can continue to do so.

    Speaking of inspirational leaders who are also plant-based, here is a very interesting article on Zen master, Thich Nhat Hanh, and his perspectives on our mental states and climate change: http://www.guardian.co.uk/sustainable-business/zen-master-thich-nhat-hanh-love-climate-change

    Thich Nhat Hanh was nominated by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for the Nobel peace prize in 1967. Happy MLK Day all.

  6. Kathy Roach says:

    Put me on that list of people who have not forgiven Lance yet. I believe there are people who have died because doping was not exposed. Read: http://healthblog.dallasnews.com/2012/10/blood-doping-here-are-the-answers-for-ron-corning-and-the-rest-of-you.html/
    The situation is complicated because we seem to look up to achievers without noticing how they got to the top of the heap. ( Much the same way supplements or “magic bullets” become popular rather than the process of just eating nutritious meals.) Lance is a deeply flawed character I will give him that. Now is not the time to link him to a WFPB program. Lance Armstrong is a disgrace and robbed cycling of all credibility which resulted in huge income loss for many many people, He has indirectly ruined the careers of many cyclists who did not or would not dope. Lance needs many more dark nights of the soul. Like he said, “it is a process” and I think he is barely beginning it.
    Don’t distract and coddle him by prematurely forgiving him and turning him into a spokesperson for WFPB nutrition, robbing him of redemption on some level.

    • J. Morris Hicks says:

      Hi Kathy and thank you for your comment. There are many who feel the way that you do. As for him actually being a spokesperson for WFPB right away, that’s not in the cards. As he said, it’s a “process” and he’s got a lot on his plate right now. But history tells us that “former cheaters and liars” can be forgiven by most people.

      Let’s give Lance some time and see how he handles things in the “post confession” stage of his life. From this day forward, his entire life will be separated into two completely different pieces: Pre-Confession and Post-Confession. This man is a fierce competitor and is a dad who loves his children more than anything else. Let’s see what he will now do to make them proud.

      Best regards, Jim

      • Kathy Roach says:

        Hi Jim and thank you for responding to my post. I’m also going through a process, a process of forgiving Lance. It’s not difficult to understand how Lance got himself into this mess and how he felt justified in continuing. If I knew where to send it, I would send him a copy of “The Pleasure Trap”. This cheating thing started out small for Lance and grew out of control. The man is more than just a cheat, he has inspired millions. Thank you for assuring me that it will be down the road before Lance might be involved in promoting WFPB nutrition. I agree that we need strong leaders, but more importantly, we need leaders with integrity.

    • Anne says:


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