Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond to it. So they say. But are they right? There’s undoubtedly enough anecdotal evidence of those who have overcome hardships and tragedies with faith, optimism, and resilience — and conversely, enough examples of those who squandered advantages, blessings, and favor through pessimism, lack of discipline, and feelings of entitlement – to suggest yes, “they” are probably right. To some degree or another.
There’s a parallel theorem that’s back in the news.
Outside of murdering your wife while wearing a new pair of Aris Isotoner Light gloves (if the gloves are too small, don’t wear them at all), your opportunity to rehabilitate a damaged reputation is 10% what you’ve done in the first place and 90% how you own up to it.
Don’t hold me to that exact ratio but if you don’t believe there’s at least some truth to it, just ask Richard Nixon how effective cover ups are when you’ve obviously broken the rules – and get caught. Bill Clinton looked us right in the eyes, wagged a finger in our direction, and declared, “I did not have …” in his attempt to follow in Nixon’s presidential footsteps. Consumed by arguments of the definition of “is,” his presidency was never the same even if he wasn’t removed from office following his impeachment.
Maybe Roger Clemens never took steroids and was amazingly unaware that others around him, including his colleagues and wife, were doing so. But if he did, his legacy will be tarnished more by his theatrical declarations of innocence than anything he did in an era of baseball when it is estimated that at least two-thirds of Major League Baseball was ingesting some kind of performance enhancer. So who framed Roger Clemens? If he’s found guilty … just ask him!
POSTSCRIPT: He was found guilty and his reputation seems to be permanently damaged.