Failure is not a single, cataclysmic event. You don't fail overnight. Instead, failure is a few errors in judgement, repeated every day. - Jim Rohn
It appears as if the tumultuous political life of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is about to come to a spectacular end.
It seems to bring glee to many because he is a man in power and a brash, outspoken, audacious individual – oftentimes so much so that he exceeds what we tolerate as acceptable in our so-called civilized world. If he were just another guy on the street no one would care or would care much less.
In fact, if he were just another guy on the street, we might actually pity him.
On the flip side, if we were him we would have lots of reasons to explain our behavior – perfectly valid reasons that we consider to be excuses when heard in someone else’s explanation.
There is, however, an important element of his downfall that we need to understand lest we succumb to a similar fate.
The events of recent months in his Life cannot be attributed to a single, catastrophic choice.
They are the culmination of many small choices over his entire Lifetime. Most of the small choices probably seemed pretty innocent at the time but as they collect together like the many snowflakes in an avalanche, eventually they gain enough momentum that a cataclysmic end is inevitable.
No raindrop believes it is responsible for the flood.
As I view Rob Ford’s story, it reminds me that we are all a collection of our Life experiences and our choices.
Because of his Life experiences and choices, he has placed himself and his family at risk on a number of levels.
Are we such masters of our own Universe that we have skilfully evaded every bad influence and result in our own Life or should we consider ourselves equally as lucky as intelligent?
Do we choose to lambast him because he has more power than many of us and it’s a chance to strike at “the powerful”?
Do we choose to fry him for reasons of subconscious subterfuge about some piece of our own history buried in our closet, providing us with an opportunity to establish superiority over our own mistakes?
Are we able to answer these questions honestly?
Mr. Ford deserves to be punished if found guilty. We cannot absolve crime or wrongdoing simply because “it wasn’t my fault – it was the fault of my Life experiences”.
But before we choose to throw too many stones, let us wait for the person without sin, error or mistake in their own Life to step up to throw the first one.
Are you that person?
Are you sure?
How do you know?
In service and servanthood,
Addendum – The Media
As I notice representatives of the CBC, The Star, The Sun and other media organizations reading this blog this morning and I watch the bloodthirsty media delight in having something scandalous to report, I wonder if the media would tone down their bloodthirsty nature if we played a little game of “expose the dirt on specific media individuals”.
Maybe then we could rebuild the media after the mutually assured destruction of the less worthy media elements has vaporized those who discover that to live by the media sword is to die by the media sword.
And maybe then we can return to a sense of civility in reporting.
Maybe … but highly unlikely since the media feeds our insatiable need for “blood” going back to and probably preceding the era of the Roman gladiators. We would simply have more people whose fall from grace gives us something to gloat over.