The announcement today that Tiger Woods is going to take an indefinite leave from golf appears to confirm his status as a Fallen Angel. He has lost his heavenly status in Brand Heaven, and what we are witnessing is really the
Death of a Saleman Just like Willy Loman in Arthur Miller's novel Tiger appears to have arrogantly believed that he is better than he really is. I don't mean this in terms of sporting prowess, which is of course, self evident, I mean it in terms of navigating a course through life.
Tiger Woods seems to exhibit many of the characteristics of Hubris This idea from ancient Greek culture is popularly associated with phrase 'pride comes before a fall'. Something that seems to dog the rich and famous unless they are careful and grounded.
Wikipedia define hubris as:
"...pride, haughtiness, or arrogance, often resulting in fatal retribution or Nemesis...actions which, intentionally or not, shamed and humiliated the victim, and frequently the perpetrator as well. It was most evident in the public and private actions of the powerful and rich."
Success, power and wealth are very beguiling. They have a curious effect on people. Frequent and consistent success lead the successful to believe that they have a special 'gift' or have even been chosen to be successful. Everything they have done has been a success therefore everything they will do in future will be a success too. Nothing can ever go wrong. This is also known as Victory Disease
Power and wealth can lead people to believe that the normal rules of nature and society don't apply to them. Doors have always opened and always will, people have always hung on their every word and always will, transgressions and and behaviour have always been overlooked and always will. They are in control of events not at the affect of them.
Psychologists talk of the Hubris Syndrome Here's a taste of some of the characteristics of someone suffering from it:
a narcissistic propensity to see the world as an arena in which they can exercise poor and seek glory.
restlessness, recklessness and impulsiveness.
excessive confidence in their own judgement and contempt for the advice or criticism of others.
exaggerated self belief, bordering on a sense of omnipotence, in what they personally can achieve.
loss of contact with reality, often associated with progressive isolation.
We see this alot and it touches all aspects of life:
So, will Tiger Woods return to golf? can he return to his former glory? or has he fallen from grace for ever? I suspect the Hubris industry will swing into action now with a series of books and programmes about this fallen angel. Let Willy Loman have the last word:
"Before it's all over we're gonna get a little place out in the country, and I'll raise some vegetables, a couple of chickens…"
Death of a Salesman
Willy Loman, to his wife Linda, Act 2