Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Is It Worthwhile to Raise a Tiger?

Let me start by saying that I don't know if what the press is reporting is true. I am, for the purposes of this blog, going to use as my example the "Tiger Woods" that has been painted by the press. I could just as easily write a blog about a fictional character that I named "John Smith," but the Tiger story is too much in the news for me to ignore. If the press reports are wrong, then that is an injustice to him.

But just for example purposes, let's assume the following (We will call it "Group A") is correct:

1. Tiger is a serial adulterer.
2. Tiger needs treatment for a "sex addiction."
3. Tiger needs treatment for addiction to pain medication and sleeping pills.

Now again, I don't know if all of that is true, or if any of it is true. But let's just assume it is.

Here is what else we know ("Group B") about Tiger (and these we know, we are not just assuming):

1. He has more money than virtually anybody else short of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.
2. He is the best golfer on the planet, and he is likely the best who ever played.
3. He is world famous. His face and name are known anywhere you go.
4. He is handsome, well-spoken, and smart.
5. His wife is one of the most beautiful women in the world.
6. He has two attractive kids.

So, here is the question: as a parent, would you put up with Group A if you knew you could get Group B?

Tiger's father, Earl, began teaching Tiger golf and drilling him on the game before Tiger could walk. Tiger appeared on TV at the age of 3 to show off his golf skills. His single aim was determined for him by his father, although it seems clear enough that Tiger has embraced and expanded that aim beyond what even his father could have imagined.

I do not for a minute suggest that Group A has to follow in order to get Group B. I suppose there are many successful athletes, actors, musicians, and other celebrities who "make it" without involving themselves in addiction, adultery, abuse, or crime.

Neither do I suggest that Earl Woods had any idea that Tiger would end up with Group A. I have no stones to throw there.

Finally, I do not suggest that the reason Tiger has the Group A stuff is because he is the world's greatest golfer, or because he is rich, or because he is famous.

But there are certainly a lot of "Group B" folks who have their share of Group A.

So, back to my question. If you knew that you could get your child to Group B, but only a cost of Group A, would you? Of course we would sacrifice all sorts of things from our own lives to help our children succeed. But what would you sacrifice from their lives?

It is a real question. Of course, nobody sets out to send their child down the road to addiction and adultery. But if you knew that was a byproduct of the "successful" road you were outlining, would you still do it?

I am not here today with an answer. I am only suggesting that we have more than one certain priority list in this generation, and different ones of you have different lists. Some of you would answer the question "yes" and some would answer "no."

Would you do it?

1 comment:

David Deering said...

my answer is "no way". As the father of a 3 year old boy I spend a lot of time thinking about his future, and wanting to spare him some pain even though I know there is pain he MUST go through in order to live and learn.
I believe there is something that Samuel was created to do, and he is better at that thing than anyone else on the planet concurrent with him. I want nothing more than for him to discover what that is and then fulfill it magnificently. Tiger Woods obviously found his destiny. I don't think that self-destruction is a part of God's plan for anyone-- though He can certainly use our mistakes to teach us, make our lives better, and even to Glorify Him when we repent and use His power to emerge victorious on the other side. I hope this happens for Tiger.