PELOTONS AND PARENTING
I know about the Tour de France yellow jersey and I know about pelotons. Not the details of a peloton, but the basics. (A peloton is a pack of cyclists that ride together to protect their sprinter or benefit from the drafting produced by the other cyclists. Pelotons are not always advantageous. They can block other teams and cause them to slow down – but a good peloton watches the back of its key cyclist or sprinter.)
See, I like biking enough that during a recent I-don’t-have-the-energy-to-move afternoon, I watched Ride the Divide, a documentary about a 2700 mile bike competition along the Continental Divide (through the Rocky Mountains). The documentary had my attention more than any football game I’ve ever watched.
I also like biographies. Especially biographies on CD that keep me entertained while commuting to and from work. So when my local library got the Lance Armstrong autobiography a few years back, it seemed a natural for me to check it out and listen.
Which I did. Hours of listening, but not exactly listening enjoyment. What I got was hours of listening to him insist he had never taken an illegal substance in his entire life and the people who contradicted him were liars and out to get him because they didn’t want him to win.
As Shakespeare said (via my father) “I thinketh thou protesteth too loudly.” (Not sure that’s an exact quote from Shakespeare – but it is an exact quote from my father and it means the same.)
I don’t usually talk about people on this blog, but Lance Armstrong is all over the news with his semi-confession.
And Lance Armstrong lied. A lot. For decades. (I read the books … well, listened to the books. I heard him.)
Sadly we’re getting our fill of Lance Armstrong stories and sadly … our kids are too. (Including Lance’s own son to whom Lance had to say, “Stop defending me.”)
Our kids are learning that it’s ok to lie for the greater good and it’s perfectly acceptable to hurt others in the process (as long as you win, as long as you get what you want). And truly, where does lying get you in the world of Lance Armstrong? Well actually … on prime time TV so the entire population can listen to your platitudes.
Our kids are watching this. They are hearing his justification “everyone was doing it, so I had no unfair advantage.”
But we shouldn’t be surprised.
1.6 million people have lied on their taxes. (Statistic Brain)
40% say lying is sometimes acceptable. (NBC)
53% have put false statements on their resumes. (Statistic Brain)
44 of 56 schools in Atlanta were part of a cover up by teachers who falsified tests scores (erasing kids’ answers and putting in the correct answers, etc.).
So when the teachers, the heroes, and the guy next door lie, why shouldn’t our kids?
And yet the Bible says …
There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to Him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers. (Proverbs 616-19)
Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be full of gravel. (Proverbs 20:17)
Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. (Colossians 3:9-10)
Dishonesty – no matter in what form: lying, cheating, stealing, being underhanded – is wrong. God says so. Dishonesty seeps uncontrollably like a flooded stream, affecting everything in its path and eroding trust in all those involved. Because once someone is caught in a lie, it’s hard to believe anything else coming out of his mouth.
We need to teach our kids honesty from the moment of birth. We want them to see us as trustworthy people upon whom they can wholeheartedly rely. We must provide secure home environments where words aren’t doubted and our actions are consistent with the message of integrity we’re speaking. By teaching them trust, we will enable them to build strong friendships, strong work relationships and strong marriages.
I don’t know Lance Armstrong’s heart. God does. And in the big picture, we can only listen to what Lance tells us – we know no more than that.
But we can concentrate on our own heart. We can pray daily that we’ll rely on God to keep us from yielding to the temptation of dishonesty.
We can parent with integrity and can build a reliable, secure wall of trust around our family.
Kind of like our own team peloton – the good kind of peloton where we watch each other’s back.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013 at 6:02 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.