To save man from the morass of propaganda, in my opinion, is one of the chief aims of education. Education must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from the fiction.

Happy Martin Luther King, Junior Day!  I’m thankful that he worked and sacrificed to give me an opportunity to lead and be heard.

I have been very intrigued by the Lance Armstrong story.  As noted by a number of news outlets he bullied and harassed a number of people over the last 16 years.  He conned a lot of people and used to be one of America’s most inspirational stories.  What bothers me the most is how selfish and how much of a control freak he still is.  He is still trying to control every outcome.  Lance lacks two important qualities of decent human beings humility and empathy.  He refuses to be modest and respectful to all the people that try and do things the right way with the right motivation.  Lance needed to and still needs to apologize to everyone individually instead of just blaming himself.

In our school district, empathy is one of our social expectations of all students.  We expect that our students will be aware of and consider another person’s situation, feelings or motives before speaking or taking action.  Stories like Lance Armstrong allow us to make connections to students and focus on social values and expectations.  We focus a lot on academic expectations in school.  Everyone needs to revisit their social values and ensure that they are being good people.  Lance needed to have empathy before he knowingly attacked Betsy Andreu, Mike Anderson, Emma O’Reilly, Greg LeMond, David Walsh, and many others. Is it more important to win or to be a good person?

I didn’t watch much of Lance on Oprah.  The few things I saw were sad.  Lance’s motivation seems to be selfish and may include the opportunity to compete in a sanctioned triathlon when he is 50.  I think the perfect punishment for Lance is to run, bike, and swim by himself where he is left with nothing but his own thoughts.  Maybe he will see that he needs to dedicate his time and energy to his children’s life and to being a better person.  I hope he is reading the great coverage by si.com, TJ Quinn, Bonnie Ford, and Dan Wetzel.  Lance can learn what true courage is like.  There are many great stories about how the Andreu’s, O’Reilly, LeMond’s, and Walsh all stood up to the big, bad, controlling bully and showed great courage.  My advice is to not waste your time watching Oprah and risk being conned again by the control freak.  Use it to read the better humanitarian stories out there.  If you have time to read only one article on Lance I recommend this piece by Bonnie Ford of ESPN.

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