It makes me sad to see our sports heroes fall into a sort of oblivion because their morality levels are being adjusted to fit the situation at hand. I have always believed that Mike Schmidt of Philadelphia Phillies fame and Miami Dolphins legend Dan Marino helped form my son into the wonderful man he is today. Both of these men seemed to play their respective games fairly and honestly. Kids may have watched him kick and yell and sulk a lot, but Dan Marino never knowingly passed a ball that was under-inflated. He may have ended his career without a Super Bowl ring, but he also ended it without anyone doubting his integrity.
Mike Schmidt was well aware of his own talent and popularity, but he was equally aware of the importance of being a role model. When the newspaper wrote the headline for a Mike Schmidt article, it did not include domestic violence, rape or murder. These are examples of the men that we, as parents, could rely on to show our children that the moral man/woman is the one who comes out the winner.
When is it okay to adjust our morals to meet a situation? In Joseph Finder's new book, The Fixer, both the protagonist and his father are faced with this question. Three decades ago, Rick Hoffman's father realized that as much as he loved using his law degree to fight for the underdog and right the world's wrongs, he wasn't able to make the money needed to take care of his family in the way he saw fit. He changed directions, helped launder money, became wealthy and suffered a stroke that left him unable to communicate or care for himself. Twenty years later Rick finds over three million dollars hidden in the walls of his father's house. He makes the decision to hide the money...a decision that puts him in danger and tests his own morality. Definitely a book that I couldn't put down.
Amy Poehler's book, Yes Please, was also a page turner for me, in a very different way. I found it interesting, thought provoking and honestly written. Although many of her choices were not ones that I would have made, she was very up front about what she did through the years. I wish that the story of her life did not include drug use, but she did speak candidly about those times too.
Both of these books were good choices for me this week, and I hope that you find them as interesting as I did.