Couples fall apart 48% of the time. It has become an acceptable statistic in our society, with minimal shock value. The real shock comes when a celebrity like Tiger Woods, seemingly flawless in his media persona, makes a mistake that catapults him to the depths of dead beat dads around the word, billionaire or not.
Elin has been portrayed as the victim of her husband’s escapades, but the real tragedy lies with the children. Tiger is a father first, a celebrity second- an automatic status change the moment he made the decision to procreate. Where were his thoughts of his children while he carried on these extramarital affairs? How are they expected to deal with the press coverage from Tiger’s demise as a husband, father and celebrity when they are old enough to question and seek answers. What lessons are they to learn about commitment, respect for women and fidelity from a father who has failed miserably on all fronts.
The end of a marriage doesn’t have to mean the deconstruction of family values. When desire and selfishness are put aside long enough to finalize one relationship before moving on to the next, parents can save face and children can be spared. Temptation is at the root of evil, and Tiger Wood’s public bite out of the proverbial apple is the pinnacle of its destruction, and the destruction of the values conscientious mothers and fathers work hard to instill in their young. Teaching begins with setting example. Parents need to make their actions count for more than words.
Local radio hosts like Ryan Doyle on CJAD Talk radio express sympathy for Tiger’s plight, coming down hard on publications like Vanity Fair and the tabloids for exposing and digging deep into Tiger’s past to shed new light on what we thought were the virtuous, wholesome steps of a star athlete- but I tend to disagree. Yes, the tabloids are a cesspool for debunking air-brushed celebrity lives, but they also make us, particularly our teenaged girls, aware of the imperfections that exist even in the starlit world of perfectionism Hollywood wants us to believe in, strive for, and feel unworthy of when we fail to achieve it. Perhaps there is some good to come of the pursuit of trash news, as long as the lines of disgrace and fame don’t become so convoluted that one drives the other.
Tiger’s plight has awakened us to many truths, not the least of which is the examples we set for our children each and every day in how we treat others. He will have plenty of explaining to do when his children come of age, but for now they will nestle in the comfort of their mother’s protective seclusion, and hopefully learn the path to forgiveness (and better judgment).