The last few days, you may have heard the latest baseball superstar admit to using steroids. New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez had his name "leaked" from a list of just over one hundred other professional baseball players accused of using banned substances. It seems when Rodriguez was a member of the Texas Rangers, he used a substance that was not banned at the time. However, that is no longer the case. Rodriguez has stated he felt an immense amount of pressure due to signing a contract worth $220 million. If you listened to the press conference, it's almost as if he rationalizes what he did because of the "pressure of the game." He has been adamant about not using anything to give him an unfair edge since 2003.
Problem is, he's no longer the Alex Rodriguez baseball fans thought he was (as little as two weeks ago). His statistics will have an asterisk beside them (be it a literal asterisk or one that lives within a sports writer's mind). For that reason, Rodriguez will probably not be elected into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Just ask Mark McGuire.
So here's my question: When we attempt to teach those around us to "Be real!", what does the world learn from people like Rodriguez? In all likelihood, he knew what he took in 2003 was on the banned list of substances. And it's not until his name was leaked from a source that he admitted to using it. It doesn't sound like he was remorseful - just experiencing guilt for being caught. Other names come to mind. Ted Haggard, The Exxon bigwigs, the pastor who took off with the money, etc.
The best definition of integrity I've heard is "Be who you are even when no one else is looking." Have we forgotten what integrity means in our society? What about character in general? Who exactly can we trust in regards to what we see?