Some people have told me I’m too nice to people, but that sounds wrong. I don’t feel like I’m a nice person or even a patient person. But I guess I am compared to others. This week I thought about it after I read about the Dancing with the Stars episode this week when anti-Lochte protestors rushed the stage after his performance.
In case you haven’t heard…
Ryan Lochte, the infamous Olympic swimmer who got drunk and trashed a gas station bathroom and lied rather than admitting he screwed up. A stupid move, yes. A stupid one indeed. in an attempt to repair his public image, he joined in the DWTS troupe. His song of choice, “Call Me Irresponsible,” a nod to his, well, stupidity, had him acknowledging his mistake in Rio and trying to make light of what is essentially an international conundrum. And in the traditional practice of modern society, after his performance protestors rushed the stage to boo him. They were tackled and escorted from the studio.
I don’t know if I’m stupid or mad, but I feel a little bad for Lochte. Not because he’s getting so much flack for his failure, but because he made a mistake that ruined his reputation and now he has to earn back the trust of both the American and Brazilian people.
There’s a little girl in our Tiny Tots class. A moderately nice girl but one that struggles with listening and sharing. Every day one of the teachers tells her not to do something, whether it’s running in the classroom, taking toys away from other kids or talking when she isn’t supposed to. A few days ago she had gotten herself into a lot of trouble. Enough trouble that she had to wait an additional five minutes before she could go play in the playground with the other kids. I waited in the classroom with her and of course she’s crying, saying she’ll listen. She’s saying this as she’s crawling around on the carpet even though she’s supposed to be sitting in one spot. I felt bad for her because I knew her heart was in the right place. She didn’t mean to hurt anyone. She just doesn’t think about her actions. Granted, she’s a little kid and Lochte isn’t a kid, but I still feel it has the same context.
Sometimes people screw up. Sometimes they screw up royally.
But personally I don’t think people should be demonized even more than they’ve already done to themselves. I know, they screwed up and if someone did something that dumb to me I’d probably be the first person to jab them in the eye with a soldering iron. But I mean this all metaphorically. I’d want to stab them, but the more likely outcome would be me wallowing in my anger for the rest of my life or forget I was even upset after a few months.
This isn’t to say they should get away with their wrongdoings.
There are four kinds of criminals in my opinion: people who deny they did anything wrong, those that know they did something wrong and are proud of it, people who admit they did something wrong but don’t understand the gravity of the situation or what exactly happened, and those that know they screwed up and take responsibility for their actions. All of them should be punished, of course, because without punishment it sets a bad example for others. The first two kinds of criminals I wouldn’t bat an eye at them. The third kind frustrates me. But the last ones, the ones that make you think, “I wish you hadn’t done that to yourself,” those are the ones that have my sympathy. Not mercy, but sympathy.
Ryan Lochte has a long way to go. I think he falls between category three and four. He knows he did wrong but he’s trying to make a joke out of it a little too soon. It’s an international incident. This is how wars are started. We can make jokes about it, but you can’t, Ryan Lochte. Give it a few years.
On a fourth-cousin thrice removed level related topic, Jimmy Fallon received criticism for humanizing Donald Trump in an interview recently. Although there is not official DNA evidence to support this theory, Trump is technically a human. So I suppose that could warrant treating him as such. But it’s not Fallon job to take Trump seriously. Some people suggest Fallon could have balanced comedy with serious journalism, but is Fallon a journalist? I mean this as a genuine question. Fallon makes people laugh. He seems like one of those guys who treats everyone kindly. Fallon probably would have done the same with Hitler. But before you go condemning Fallon for treating such heinous dictators like people, which I wouldn’t, I think we should take a moment and think, “Man. Jimmy Fallon is nice to EVERYONE, even if he doesn’t like them. That’s amazing.” Because Lord knows I’m not nice to everyone. Especially people I don’t like.
Condemning all sinners to Hell. Isn’t that why people hate Christianity?
What do you think? Should Ryan Lochte be publically shamed? Is he worthy of sympathy? What about Jimmy Fallon? Should he have chastised Trump or is that not his job? Voice your opinion below and as always please keep it civil.