The Lesson We can all Learn from Lance Armstrong Now. ~ Ben Ralston

Via Ben Ralston
on Jan 18, 2013
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Timothy A. Clary /AFP/Getty Images
Timothy A. Clary /AFP/Getty Images

Click here for videos of Lance Armstrong & Oprah.

When I was about 10 years old I was playing with a friend,

Paul, who lived down the street—and I caught him cheating in a game we played. I remember being absolutely bewildered and… furious. It made no sense to my young mind.

I went home and told my parents about it and their pride in me didn’t lessen the pain of being cheated and lied to and abused.

Truth is more important than winning. It’s also more important than reputation or friendship or career or dreams or even love. Because it’s what all of the above are built on.

Take away truth and all you have left is shadows.

Armstrong doesn’t yet get that though. He says he’s sorry, as if those two words alone have some kind of redemptive power. They don’t. They’re just words. And as much as I’d like to believe that words alone have power, they don’t. Without Truth behind them they’re just words.

I very much doubt that his newfound humility is over the wrongs that he’s done. I think he’s sorry that he got caught, and sorry that everything he lied and cheated and abused so hard for is in jeopardy.

So let him be sorry, ban him for life, take away the millions he (more or less) stole, and let’s move on, leaving him to face his shadows.

And he will face those shadows—he’ll have no choice, because the truth always catches up. It’s really all there is, and we can escape it for a while but it’s like trying to swim against the river:

The river (truth) always Wins.


Please share.

And leave a comment – do you agree? Or do you think (as many appear to do) that we should “forgive” Armstrong (whatever that means)?


About Ben Ralston

Ben Ralston has been practising personal development—necessity being the Mother of invention—since he was about six years old. He’s been teaching and sharing what he’s learnt along the way for a couple of decades. His main thing is Heart of Tribe retreats—whose very purpose is to help you fall back in love with life, no less. Leading these retreats alongside his woman Kara-Leah Grant—also an elephant journal writer (that’s how they met!)—they combine a deep well of lineage-based yoga teaching experience, with expertise in healing trauma and various other methods of personal development. Ben also works with clients one-on-one via Skype, writes, makes videos from time to time, and is passionate about parenting. He lives in an intentional, tribal community in the hills of Croatia, where you might find him gardening barefoot and talking to the rocks. Connect with Ben on Facebook or YouTube or check out his website for more info.


73 Responses to “The Lesson We can all Learn from Lance Armstrong Now. ~ Ben Ralston”

  1. Ben_Ralston says:

    Come on Mike, have you lied to millions of people, bullied individuals out of their jobs, cheated honest sportsmen who didn't dope, betrayed close friends, and abused the trust of the sponsors and the general public?! I know I haven't.
    And what do you mean by "not everyone that cheats and lies is truly conscious of it"? It's hardwired into the human system to be truthful.
    Do you really believe for one second that Armstrong didn't know exactly what he was doing? He's admitted as much himself!

  2. MatBoy says:

    I though the LA interviews were riveting. Although I don't watch TV, I do read a lot of classics and generally prefer fiction. Just seeing him there, watching his emotional state, how he was still trying to hold on to the old 'strongman' Lance as his world was crashing down around him. Watching him look into his future and not being able to see anything, not know how it would work itself out. It was better than anything Dostoyevsky could have written and it was happening right before our eyes. I think the story has classic value, something that can stand the test of time.

    He was still so controlled and COLD. He wants to return to competition although it ruined his, and many other people's, lives. Will he get over that and take the next step in maturity? I see it as his coming to a threshold where he will have to give up the things of his childhood and use his many talents and force of will in the greater community. Can he do it or does he just want to ride his bike around in circles faster than anyone else? Will he see the bigger picture, step down from his high position and embrace normal life like the rest of us? Can he survive his fall and truly experience and realize the freedom gained from telling the truth. Classic struggle, classic decision points. Clear archetypal value and significance for us all here. Better than fiction! It is the stuff good writing is made of.

  3. GreatNorthSky says:

    Great Controversies Always Bring Forth The Greatest Charges :: Energy That Is :: And Although There Is A Great Ebb and Flow In All The Post :: Casting The Shadow, In Anyway, Is Almost Always Dis-empowering, No Matter What :: Challenging, Hummmm, Yesss :: But There In Lays The Real SOUL Work :: There Is A Greater Play Here To See :: And Sure, It All Depends On Where We Are In Our Evolution or As Some May Express These Days, Elevation :: A Great Man Once Said ""Let He Who Is Without Sin, Cast The First Stone" :: These Incidences Always Have Lessons For All :: For They Provide Mirrors For All Of Us, If We Are Willing To Look Inward :: That's Why I Express Here "EYES ON THE TEACHER :: And In this Case Today, I Add :: EYES ON ALL THE TEACHERS :: Yesss, Thank You All For Participating and Sharing From Where You Currently Stand In Life, This Is The Beauty Of This Walk For All Of Us, Thank You For Posting This Article नमस्ते

  4. GreatNorthSky says:

    Beautiful Work, What I Call The Real Work Within, Absolutely Beautiful !!!!!!! Thank You नमस्ते

  5. FREE says:

    YES, have been thinking this is parallel to the John Friend saga. However, I see much more remorse, humility and honesty from Lance!

  6. michael says:

    Ben, I don't know or care about Lance Armstrong, what I'm saying is we are all human & I agree we are hardwired to be truthful. I think we all need to consider the true situation he was under & what would make him go against his own 'hardwired' truth. We all do it on a daily basis, whether we are willing to admit it or not, we have to consciously realign ourselves all the time, the only difference is he is famous.

  7. Megan says:

    We've been talking a long time about stuff and nothing has ever changed. The point of my comment is that how and what we engage in not that we don't engage. We've had a Lance in sports, celebrity, politicians on and on and each time it's a world news event that leads to nothing.
    Your assumption that people that call to action a new way of thinking and seeing is inaction is incorrect. Yet only those that thought differently (MLK for example) changed the world. Why was "Think Different' the most successful ad campaign of our time? The point is recognizing our conditioning, our conditioned mind that is the first step to change. It has nothing to do with inaction. The ones that changed the way they see the world by getting to the point of an unconditioned mind did great things. Echart Tolle has contributed greatly to the awakening of many masses of people those spiritually minded and those not. And the only action he took was an involuntary tripping into disassociation from the egoic mind and falling into the bliss of Beingness. FROM that point he moved mountains. From an unknown with no teachers simply the state of his consciousness propelled him to the world stage. That dear Ben, is all it takes. I mean it sincerely. The action that one takes from "choice" is within the old paradigm. Tolle did not choose his vocation it chose him. We all have our own fruitful destiny that awaits letting go of false identification with the egoic mind. The fact that there are plants and animals and humans is hardly related to the point. The only significance is our state of awareness. When we don't see the Oprah and Lance interview as another peg in the gerbil wheel of media food for the masses that keep the world spinning in it's dysfunctional axis, we miss the bigger picture which is that this is all conditioned and programmed thinking, thinking it is getting somewhere thus the illusion that we are making a difference. The greatest difference and only difference we can truly make is to step out of a conditioned mind. Except that a conditioned mind can't see it's own conditioning. Until something triggers it. And once you recognize it it is the beginning of the mass undoing. The Dalai Lama is engaged in the world and yet he formative years away from the world as a youngster he was trained in the ancient traditions and mystery schools such that he evolved unplugged from the mass media and noise we currently have 24/7. Only through having developed away from conditioning was he able to transcend the limitations of the conditioned mind and actually approach the world and do great things in it, treating even his "enemies" with compassion. All those that did great things in the world had Love as their basis first. Action second. Otherwise we are just spinning our wheels with the illusion that we are getting somewhere discussing the morals of a fallen bicycle hero. I'm not here to argue so there is no point in defending. I'm just trying to bring a bigger perspective to an old discussion.

  8. Mac Bleakley says:

    So, lets say I got the winning lottery number , as my brother works for the lottery company. He agreed to give me the number , and I agreed to give him part of the winnings. No one could ever find out.
    I get my share, spend all I can, and ,by the way ,start a foundation that saves thousands of lives in the meantime. My brother gets drunk, and brags about it, and it gets around that I won the lottery by cheating. But, there is no proof , no paper trail, nothing, that can show that I got the number from my brother. (And , by the way, I sue my brother for telling on me).
    If someone gives you the winning number, and then gives it to other people,too, but you play yours first and get all the money, are you gonna be guilty of cheating? Or are you gonna take the money and run?
    Mr Ralston, life is more important than truth! Would all those cancer survivors, because of Lance's foundation, rather be dead now , knowing that Lance got his money because he won on PEDs. Sorry, stupid question.

  9. Nancy says:

    Spot on article! Lance Armstrong is an example of self-will run riot! I remember seeing a photo he tweeted of himself lying (no pun intended) on his couch with his trophies lining the wall behind him with some cocky remark about how bullet proof he is. As a mother of one child, I cannot imagine what his five children are now faced with as their father FINALLY cops to the masquerade that has been going on for possibly most of their childhood. He belongs with the Kardashians….please let him fade to black……

  10. PamB says:

    lanced Try this analysis for another view that is deeply thoughtful without judging or forgiving.

  11. Ben_Ralston says:

    Thank you for a wise and beautiful comment.

  12. Ben_Ralston says:

    I hear you Mac, but this has nothing to do with cancer. Please don't confuse the issues here. Cancer is an emotive subject…
    And comparing what Lance did to winning the lottery is a bit silly! in the lottery it's about luck. In sport it's about skill, hard work, dedication, discipline… and cheating robs (steals) from those that don't. Plain and simple.

  13. Ben_Ralston says:

    That's a great piece of writing, thank you for sharing.

  14. sze says:

    there may be no right or wrong as its a matter of perspective but every action there is a consequence. I guess Lance had to face the consequences of his actions just like all of us. what goes around comes around..:)

  15. Lavra says:

    Dear Ben, this is all about those cancer survivors!
    Maybe a child who got the strength from the idea of Lance to win that cancer before all this and how that child might be feeling right now. No other issue here.

  16. Lavra says:

    P.S. I tried to include all those planes of existence or wherever we might be in our evolution 🙂

  17. umang dave says:

    [email protected]

  18. bill romas says:

    truly in the end if there is such a "place", all there will be is Love, why wait?

  19. MatBoy says:

    I think if someone had gamed the system specifically to help people with cancer there would not have been so much angst involved on the part of the protagonist; they would keep a low profile to 'get the job done'. In this case lance perpetuated a lie that ultimately cost him his relationships with everyone in his life including his kids and his mother. He is a lost soul right now and he is attempting to find something genuine in life again. We are not sure he can pull this off. Reminds me of 'Crime and Punishment' more than anything else.

  20. […] I read the caption “disgraced” under Lance Armstrong’s photo documenting the interview of him finally admitting to drug use throughout his notorious cycling career, I wondered if he would […]

  21. […] was my hero. His lack of integrity disappoints. How many times has that happened in love? He lusted after that jersey like a dope fiend lusts after […]

  22. Jules says:

    Agreed. And also it's different scale (he lied to millions) but the underlying principal is the same. And to get outraged by his lying is to miss the bigger picture that it's a reflection of society as a whole therefore if we don't look where this is pointing we continue on the same road with the same judgements against those "horrible" liars how dare they while we don't see the principal that is relevant to all of us.