I initially viewed even the premise of an open letter to Tiger Woods in the midst of the public spectacle that has become Tiger Wood’s Life, however, after reading it I was quite impressed.
It doesn’t take much for someone to stand on a soapbox and preach about Tiger and his many romps, or cast blame and wag the finger at someone else, but it takes a lot more to encourage someone who happens to be in a terrible predicament. Thats why this letter caught me off guard. Everyone who used to be in regular contact with Tiger is now distancing themselves from him. All the sponsors that were showering him with money are all tip-toeing out the door. The name that was selling millions has become bad for business in a matter of days…literally. Yet Artest writes this stunningly poignant letter of encouragement to Tiger as a simple fan of the athlete. Its not preachy and it seems to be really authentic which is why I feel like men in general can learn from it.
He starts off by taking the humble route and letting everyone know he isn’t a know-it-all, nor is he blameless. He doesn’t condone Tiger’s actions in any way, but he tries to show that there is life after “the slip-up”.
“My wife is a much better wife than I am a husband. We still argue and disagree after being together 16 years. and I still cope with the fact that there are so many women out there and I choose to stay loyal to my wife”
A slip-up is inevitable as long as one is human, and it’s how you handle yourself afterwards that makes and breaks a man. A great point he makes is that the media and some people in general seem to be enjoying another person’s suffering. Its takes a huge amount of courage to “man up” and admit mistakes, and make moves to correct them and encouragement is the best help in such situations. It seems as though the media is feeding into people’s desire to see someone in a worse situation than themselves. We love to see our heroes fall. Sometimes I think thats why we put them on pedestals in the first place…kinda like setting up dominoes.
In this open letter, I found a new respect from the guy who snuck, and drank boos during the half-time of games! Really, this came out of left field, but it goes to show that you can’t believe everything that the media shows you because many times they are pandering to what they think you want to hear and see. I’ve really only heard negative things about Artest – espeially after that brawl he is now famous for. But I have yet to hear one of Tiger’s friends step up and vouch like this for him or to encourage him like this.
It takes a real man to face himself, and to look at his flaws and admit them. Thats something a large amount of people (many of them wagging the finger at Woods) can’t do so they would rather see someone else doing the same thing fall and feel better. But everything in the closet comes to light eventually.
“On the way to 2010 we had many ups and downs on the way, mostly my fault. But I really choose to work hard and play ball to support her and my kids. The same reason you are building your legacy.”
You can find the open letter here