One of my favorite TV programs, 24, had its season finale last week. In this year’s storyline, the President of the United States got involved in all these illegal activities, and was trying to excuse himself, being that he was the President and his actions were “for the good of the country.” This arrogance is seen in the real world, in everyone from politicians to CEOs. Power corrupts. Those in power frequently abuse their position because they hold themselves to a different standard than the “common people.”
“If you were in the same position of responsibility as I am,” the egomaniacal leader might say, “you would do the EXACT SAME THING.”
Now I understand the allure of power and corruption.
Last week, I invited others to join me in a “Bloggers with Biceps” program. I agreed to exercise twice a week, or pay the penalty of twenty dollars to charity and face my humiliation online. Today finally arrived, but I had only gone to the gym once last week.
What should I do?
I thought of changing the rules. After all, today is Memorial Day. I could use the excuse that the gyms were closed for the Holiday. Who’s going to argue with that?
Of course, someone might just ask, “Why didn’t you just exercise at home?”
Or, “Why didn’t you exercise earlier in the week?”
My answer would be, “Hey, I’m not doing it for me. I’m doing it for you. I’m sure there’s someone else who procrastinated until the last day. Why not give them a break?”
Of course, the “contract” clearly says we begin on Monday. Today is already the start of Week 2.
My sense of morality was starting to nag me, like my mother. But I rebelled.
“The rules are for everybody ELSE. Not for me! This is my idea. I’m ABOVE THE LAW.”
“That doesn’t seem very fair,” my irritating moral goody-two-shoes-self said.
“Screw you,” I told my wimpy side. “Haven’t you ever read Nietzsche? Machiavelli? Ayn Rand? A leader is in a special category. If I admit that I only went once to the gym, the entire exercise program will crumble. I’m the inspirational one, the titan of exercise, the one who is helping thousands of others leave their computers to do physical activity. I don’t care about myself. I don’t want to destroy THEIR DREAMS. Their dreams of getting into shape. Dreams of wearing that bikini. Dreams of lifting a spouse off the ground using just one muscled arm. For the good of everyone, I will lie and say that I went to the gym twice this week. For the good of all.”
But then, as I left Starbucks today, I saw a shiny new penny sitting in the parking lot next to my car. I picked it up, as I always do with a penny, for good luck. And there he was, staring at me, another great leader of men — Abraham Lincoln. Honest Abe.
“Let no young man choosing the law for a calling for a moment yield to the popular belief — resolve to be honest at all events; and if in your own judgment you cannot be an honest lawyer, resolve to be honest without being a lawyer.” – Abraham Lincoln.
As he spoke these words to me, on Memorial Day, no less, I realized that I could not tell a lie to my fellow bloggers.
I only went to the gym once this week.
I deserve to be humiliated in public. I procrastinated. I was lazy. I don’t deserve to be thought of as a hunky sex object anymore until I prove my worth again.
But for now, I donate twenty dollars to the Wellness Community of the South Bay.
How did everyone else do? Where are your donations to a cancer charity of my choice? Roll call!
Bloggers With Biceps (as of 5/29)
The Yearning Heart
Anonymous City Girl