Don’t mistake my assertions that Lance Armstrong’s cheating doesn’t change anything for a belief that cheating is okay. Believing that it’s not helpful to go back and try to rewrite the past isn’t the same as accepting poor conduct or character.
Character is doing the right thing, even when doing it puts you in a bad position. It’s about doing what’s right, not what’s easy. It’s a quality that we don’t push our kids to master in this day and age. The focus is on winning, not on sportsmanship, honoring others, or doing something for another.
In a world that’s values winning above all, stories like Iván Fernández Anaya, stand out. On December 2nd, 2012, Fernández Anaya was competing in a race in Navarre. The race leader misjudged the finish, slowed down dramatically and Fernández Anaya quickly caught up. Most athletes would have considered this fair game. The race leader lost focus, and as a result he was going to lose the race. That’s not what happened.
Fernández Anaya didn’t take the easy victory. He slowed up, and allowed his opponent to finish first. He did the honorable thing, and for that he’s going to be long remembered.
Do you push your kids to win at all costs? Or do you tell them to do the right thing, even if it means losing some times? Do you make a point of matching up your words and actions?