Stripped.

Truth is...

 

People have complicated relationships with the truth.

 

They find ways to muddle the black and white in order to sell you on their lives within shades of grey.

 

There are a million and one ways to cheat.

 

In sport, in relationships, in business, on taxes…

 

and for the most part those people

 

the ones who cheat

 

live so loud…

 

talk so much…

 

because in a world of black and white they need someone…

 

anyone…

 

to accept their grey.

 

Look at Grigory, the unlikely protagonist of the Netflix Documentary, “Icarus…”

 

Look at Lance Armstrong who has become an even more unlikely vocal supporter of the film, hosting viewing parties, and panels…

 

Think about that one person you know that can’t help but brag about how they’re getting over on someone, or something, or the system…

 

Or that person who cant help talking about all they do for their significant other while cheating on them…

 

All in the hopes that you’d understand and maybe…hopefully accept their grey.

 

And this is what I’d say to them if I could speak to them directly:

 

The thing that saddens me the most is not so much that you’ve cheated me…

 

and affected my life in ways that I can’t ever fully know…or be compensated for.

 

It’s that you cheated yourself.

 

Because you didn’t even give yourself a chance at doing it the RIGHT way.

 

You didn’t think you had it in you to be successful without screwing someone else over.

 

You didn’t think you could be big enough to tell the truth and handle the “what’s next” of it all.

 

You had so little faith in yourself…

 

So little confidence in your abilities…

 

that you didn’t even bother.

 

Instead…

 

You sacrificed your integrity, your self respect, the esteem and respect of others, and your professionalism

 

on the altar of least resistance

 

and if resistance is how we grow (as I’ve discussed in previous writing)

 

then…

 

yes.

 

You’ve cheated me.

 

But most importantly

 

You’ve cheated yourself

 

out of becoming

 

the complex

 

astonishing

 

resilient

 

perfectly flawed human being 

 

you could have been.

 

You’ve stripped yourself of more than any organization ever could.