The Barry Bonds in All of Us

Here we go another round.  With the indictment of Barry Bonds for perjury and obstruction of justice stemming from his grand jury testimony about his steroid use (we can all drop the “alleged” now), we’ll have the newest season of real reality TV as millions hungrily follow the unfolding disgrace.

Another fallen hero.

And another chance for us to show how utterly hypocritical we are.

I haven’t been a Bonds fan since his Pittsburgh days, but I do not rejoice in his indictment and possible imprisonment.  Sure, he brought it on himself.  Justice will be served.  But how disgusting that many of us who celebrate his fall will gleefully snicker at him as we go on lying and cheating in our daily lives.

That may sound harsh, but think about it.  Yeah, Bonds is insanely arrogant and prideful and seems to worship himself as a god.  (Perhaps that’s unfair since I don’t know him personally, but there’s plenty of video and direct quotes to back this up!)  But I submit to you that one reason we despise him so much for these things is that it’s exactly what we despise in ourselves.

How many people do you know who truly don’t live as their own god much of the time?  How many people do you know who succeed 24 hours a day in not acting as though they are the center of the universe?  How many people do you know who are always completely honest, never putting up a front or trying to deceive people into overlooking a weakness?

Okay, so that might appear to be too sweeping a generalization.  And yet I’ll say without hesitation that if any one of us had to sit in front of a grand jury and answer direct, penetrating questions about our own lives, we would likely all be found guilty of offenses that would invite the jeering, mocking scorn of the masses.  You know what else?  If we were in that situation, I have no doubt that many of us would lie about it.

Hopefully you understand what I’m saying here.  What Bonds did is wrong.  It was destructive.  It was despicable.  He should be prosecuted.  Yet even if most of us don’t commit federal crimes, I’m not so sure that most of us really have a stronger moral fiber.

If you’re offended, I hope you’re offended for the right reasons.  It’s easy to grind Bonds into the dirt to make us feel better about ourselves.  After all, if the ridiculously wealthy all-time home run champ–tainted record and all–is indicted and revealed as a fraud,  how great we must be!  We’re better than him!  Right?

If we’re really “better” than that, then let’s show it by exercising humility and enough honesty and self-awareness to recognize that most of us are a lot more like Bonds than we’d like to admit.  If we sneer at his exposure and failures rather than genuinely mourn for the damage it does to our collective sense of human dignity, are we really any better?

Published in: on November 16, 2007 at 12:52 am  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. What a concept completely against our nature, but right in line with Christ. May our new nature, for those of us who believe, be far stronger than the old one.

  2. Well said. Living the supernatural life certainly supersedes the natural life!

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