There is a passage that says "We all fall short of the glory of God." Now is the time for all of those who may fall short by their self-righteousness to rethink their position in a lineup ranking who is the most righteous?
I asked a young man, "How do you define righteousness?" I refused to define it for him. In fact, every man or woman has to seek out the definitions for themselves. We all build our belief systems.
What is righteous to some men and women is what aligns itself with a chosen belief system.
Tiger Woods has to seek out those definitions of "right living" and he has to believe that a man can change.
Although I believe a man can change, there have been several examples of men and women who never gave up their addictions. The only thing that stopped their return to their addiction was the termination caused by death.
One example was a grandmother who loved alcohol. She gave it up for four years. A trauma occurred in her life. She returned to alcohol and it was her last turn in a journey that ended with liver failure.
I know of another grandfather who had a habit. A stroke ended his habit as well as his life.
I remember a student in Harlem who was addicted to heroine. Then he became addicted to methadone. Finally, he died of liver failure and other complications when he was a very young man.
If I am giving tragic examples, then why do I believe that a man can change?
One soul-searching question is whether Tiger Woods learned his habits from his social and cultural surroundings. Did he see someone else with transgressions similar to his own, and then assumed that he would not suffer any consequences from doing the same thing?
I can say that if I do not believe that a man can change, then I need to stop teaching at a two year college that is culturally diverse and has students sharing stories filled with past transgressions, psychological, and legal problems.
If Tiger Woods attended my class at the two year college he would have to introduce himself on the first day of class. I like to know who I teach so that I can create a relevant and inspiring curriculum around my students' experiences and needs.
One thing is certain: Some of my students have changed their priorities and behaviors. They have changed their course in life.
Here are examples for Tiger Woods and others to see and, perhaps, praise them for choosing a new course in life.
1. A man said he had used crack for years. He had a powerful experience in an old warehouse. It scared him, and he was inspired to give up crack. Now, he is an honor student in mathematics and other subjects.
2. A former professional football player lost everything to women and drugs. He is now sitting in classrooms, attempting to learn new skills so that he can negotiate life differently. This former football player asserts that "a man can change."
3. A woman who was addicted to drugs was released from rehabilitation on the same day her mother passed away. Her mother lingered and prayed that her daughter would change. On the day of the woman's release, she rushed to the hospital to see her mother. After a visit of a couple of hours, the mother passed away peacefully. This experience spurred the women to give up drugs and now she is headed in a new direction.
So, Woods can change. Our job is to believe that a man can change.
Over time, we will see if Woods, a man who is world renowned and watched almost 24/7, is going to really change.
I vote that a man can change. I hope that no further controversy or tragedy befalls Woods. However, I have noticed that many men "sin unto death" while others face severe tragedies that inspire their decision to change.
It's sad but its true that many men and women have to hit rock bottom before they see a need to change.
During these times we have the media hunting great men down like the hound dogs with the vigilantes in a southern forest. So, if the man does not change and move away from his addictions, don't worry, we will know it soon and very soon.
My thesis is called "a man can change."
The real question is: Will Tiger Woods change?
Let's wait and see.