About four weeks ago, I posted a blog about Lance Armstrong shortly after his tell-all interview with Oprah. At that time, I announced that I had forgiven Lance and would give him the benefit of the doubt as he moved forward.
My blog was somewhat controversial, which is not surprising—as many people expressed their anger at Lance for betraying all of his fans, cancer victims, etc. But now the dust has settled a bit, and I see in the New York Times that the Livestrong Foundation is feeling the effect of the scandal—maybe people will be more willing to forgive Lance; particularly if he focuses on truly helping people.
From the Times article (See link below):
Regarding Livestrong. David Reibstein, a professor of marketing at the University of Pennsylvania, said, “I think there’s no question that some people are going to be disillusioned and therefore are not interested in continuing their support.”
He added, “But people still care about fighting cancer, so I don’t think we’ll see it totally disappearing.”
So, how are you feeling about Lance now? Let’s find out. Please select one of the three answers below that best describes how you feel:
Why did I forgive Lance? First of all, I have always been a very forgiving person. I don’t think anger and holding grudges is healthy and I try not to judge anyone for anything. Secondly, I am now in the business of pursuing a world-changing mission that is extremely short on prominent leadership.
While billions of people are talking about finding the cure for cancer; hardly anyone is talking about sharing the complete truth about prevention of cancer with everyone in the world. In a recent blog about cancer, I quoted some “astounding truths” from The China Study. For your convenience, here are five of them:
- [C]asein (the protein in cow’s milk) and very likely all animal proteins, may be the most relevant cancer-causing substances that we consume.
- There is enough evidence now that the U.S. government should be discussing the idea that the toxicity of our diet is the single biggest cause of cancer.
- There is enough evidence now that doctors should be discussing the option of pursuing dietary change as a potential path to cancer prevention and treatment.
- Our institutions and information providers are failing us. Even cancer organizations, at both the national and local level, are reluctant to discuss or even believe this evidence.
- Food as a key to health represents a powerful challenge to conventional medicine, which is fundamentally built on drugs and surgery.
So, what if Lance Armstrong made true cancer prevention his next big mission? How many people could he reach? Well, it depends on the poll above. My bet is that most people would end up forgiving him if he got real serious about a noble cause. As for the “cancer prevention” cause, his actions would not only fight cancer—but they would simultaneously promote the longterm sustainability of the human race.
Do you know of any causes more important than that?
I figure that around two billion people have heard of Lance Armstrong. If over half of them forgive him and will once again listen to him—Lance could play a huge part in changing the world. I look forward to seeing the poll results and hearing your comments.
- Source article. Livestrong Not Immune From Turmoil Surrounding Lance Armstrong
- My earlier blog. What will Lance do now? Although disgraced at the moment…
- Related blog. My case for why we need all the leadership we can get
- Related blog. A tiny few eating a perfect diet? — or truly changing the world?
Handy 4-piece take-charge-of-your-health kit—from Amazon.com
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- Healthy Eating, Healthy World, The “big picture” about food (our book)
- An essential scientific resource: The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell
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I keep asking myself, “What’s the fascination with Lance?” (I agree with both Susan and Irene.) Whole food plant based nutrition has it’s own well known leaders of which you are one. Instead of focusing on a “celebrity” to join this movement, why not gather all the leaders in a united effort. If you do recruit a celebrity, it seems to me that integrity should be a key trait. There are celebrities speaking out about nutrition (for a profit) these days that only add to the confusion and misinformation so prevalent on the subject. We tend to forgive, as in the case of President Bill Clinton, because we are all flawed to some degree. President Clinton is flawed, but he is also a brilliant, well read man…can we say that about Lance?
To forgive is one of our callings. However, forgiveness does not mean that we forget. Armstrong has evidenced some sociopathic behaviors, and only time will tell if he’s really changed. I think it’s important to remember that the end doesn’t always justify the means, and though you’re looking for a good spokesperson to elevate the discussion, I don’t feel Lance would be a good emissary at this point I time. More than likely, given this blog’s feedback, he’d do more harm than good. Again, we can forgive his personhood, but not forget his behaviors.
Thanks to Joanne and everyone for their comments. But let’s take a look at the survey results. Over 60% have already forgiven him and only 1 in 6 say they probably never will. We don’t have to forgive, like or respect him for him to have a monumental positive impact. There are probably two billion who know his name and over half of them probably still like and respect him. If he got real serious (I doubt that he will) about telling the world how to PREVENT almost all cancers—he could have a HUGE impact on human health, the cost of health care, the environment, world hunger—indeed the longterm sustainability of the human species. Best, Jim
Forgiveness (or not) is for our friends and family members, not for athletes and/or celebrities. I haven’t thought, one way or the other, about forgiving him. In any case, I seriously doubt that celebrities care if “ordinary” people forgive them. And, as for the people close to him whom he hurt or destroyed while clawing his way to the top of his little world, I don’t know how they could ever forgive him. I just hope they can forget to the extent that they can focus on rebuilding their lives. As for him being a spokesperson for a plant-based lifestyle, I’m not sure that’s a good idea. Given the amount of doping he’s done and all the drugs he’s taken in his life, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’ll suffer from additional cancers or other diseases as the years go on. And, if he does, the general public may conclude that there is no point in eating healthily.
I am in no position to forgive Lance Armstrong. I never felt betrayed by his actions, so I am in no position to forgive.
Lance is an arrogant pathological liar and in his interview with Oprah he had NO contrition, he showed a lack of emotion, he was blaming others, and I think he has possible sociopathic behavior.
Dr Lillian Glass, a body lang expert, has written about Lance and Oprah:
“This interview did not help Lance Armstrong’s image. In fact it made it worse. We saw arrogance, defiance, anger, blame, and someone who really needs to be out of the public eye in my view. In my view he is a very disturbed individual who is very TOXIC!”
I agree, Irene. I tend to dismiss celebrity input on most subject as most can be bought and sold for a sponsorship or a great role. I felt a bit differently about athletes, especially as it relates to nutrition, because they need their “instrument” in peak condition. I hope that Lance takes this chance to get his heart right and if he does that, the pieces will fall into place.
Quite frankly, it doesn’t matter to me about Lance Armstrong one way or the other. The people he hurt the most were himself and his team mates. Can he truly forgive himself, and can his team mates truly forgive him? However, if this experience helps him to mitigate his arrogance and truly think about other people, then yes, his celebrity could help bring about the change for the good that you wrote about above.