Consequences…or Not: Michael Phelps and others

The sports world has brought the word ‘consequences’ to the fore front of our vocabulary and the title of lead stories in every talk show and news show we watch. Michael Phelps is just the last in a long line of of figures who were given a gift from God in the form of an extra-ordinary ability to perform and lost their way as a role model. Charles Barkley said he didn’t want to be a role model. Hey, he signed an NBA contract for mega bucks and chose to live in the light of notoriety. Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Marian Jones, and now Alex Rodriguez seem to have thought that they did not have enough talent or could work hard enough or trust God enough to succeed to the level to which they aspired.

Children must be taught when they are very young that there are consequences to their actions. If when they are six, a child learns that when he lies to a parent there is a consequence then maybe when they are sixteen they will know that there is a consequence for staying out past curfew. As a parent the consequence may impact my life as I may have to cancel a night out or a weekend away because the child broke the rules and must forfeit that piece of fun and stay home.

It is also teaching a child what is right and wrong. There are not special people who do not have to adhere to the same standards as others. There is no rarefied air or society that famous people breath or or to which they live while the rest of us slug along in the real mud. And I’m sorry but just saying, “I’m sorry” is not sufficient although when from the heart it is a good start.

Michael Phelps made a ‘duh’ error in judgment and losing commercial contracts and being suspended from swimming for three months seems a reasonable consequence. Now…let’s move on.

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