I am not the same person today.
I’ve grown. I’ve made mistakes. I’ve grown some more. Made more mistakes.
Thankfully, there is progress — although sometimes progress up close looks like two steps forward and one step back. Stand far away from me, and you might not see it; you’ll only see my backwards step.
“There he goes again…
He’ll never change… she’ll never change.
Same old, same old…
Once a ‘whatever,’ always a ‘whatever’…”
But that’s not true. I am not the same. While sometimes I look the same, talk the same, maybe even give the outward impression that I’m acting the same, it’s simply not true. I have grown. But from far away, you can’t see all the growth — not while it’s happening. You can’t see growth in another person when you are so far away from them.
Hence, we cling to what often, eventually evolves into inaccurate assessments of another.
With much of my family tuned in to professional golf’s Masters Tournament this weekend, I was again reminded of the wisdom in allowing another to grow… to refuse to hold on to an old perspective, even if it was valid at the time it was formed.
Valid then does not make it valid now, contrary to what might be easiest to believe.
I cheer on my favorite golfers this weekend (go, Jordan, Bubba, Zach J., and Phil!). One more I cheer on is Eldrick “Tiger” Woods.
I suppose, though, I cheer on Tiger for a bit of a different reason. I want to see him grow.
As has been previously chronicled, the one-time dominant Woods experienced ample professional and personal fallout. In the midst of multiple back surgeries, Woods also faced significant damage to his perceived character and reputation, with the acknowledgement of numerous extramarital indiscretions and affairs. He has spent years, seemingly attempting to recoup both his professional and personal standing.
Leading up to the Masters, in fact, it was a refreshing change this week to see Tiger on the golf course, practicing with long time rival Phil Mickelson — laughing, fist-bumping, playing together. The relationship between the competitors was always a little icy, dicy, etc., but at Mickelson’s invitation, we witnessed something different this week. Said Phil, “I find that I want him [Tiger] to play well, and I’m excited to see him play so well.”
Hmmm… maybe they’ve grown. I’m not absolute certain, of course. I’m too far away.
There are few things more attractive in a person than maturity and growth. Growth is so beautiful and contagious! I’m fearful, however, that we miss out on the beauty in so many because we hold them to an expectation of behavior that was true before… just maybe not now.
Back to Tiger. He’s competitive again, and so the press and publicity increases immensely. Publicity can be good. Or not.
Reports swirled earlier in the week that Tiger’s most recent ex-girlfriend signed a nondisclosure agreement regarding their relationship and why it ended, as indiscretions may have again been involved. (Remember the key word is “may.”)
Sigh. I hope such is not true.
But here’s the key. Even if such is true and is similar to past behavior, it does not mean Tiger has failed to grow. It may be two steps forward, one step back. It may be no steps whatsoever. But from my vantage point — the reality of being this far away — I can’t see.
Go, Tiger, go… Go, also, Jordan, Bubba, Zach J., and Phil…
Let’s all grow while we’re at it, too.