Livestrong: the rise of such a powerful organization was inevitable and necessary in a world where cancer is rampant. The influence Livestrong has had on making lives better is undeniable, with the cancer community forever indebted to them for their contributions. However, what Lance Armstrong has taught us is that it's important not to glamorize cause-based initiatives without further consideration of motives.
Employees of non-profits do make a living on their salary and to many it is simply a job. Working for a charity doesn't make you a philanthropist. Some people are in it for the cause and some a paycheck. Most for both. It doesn't quite matter as long as everyone performs the work, which leads to fulfilling a worthwhile mission. In fact, there is only one person that needs to be 100 percent in it for the cause. That is, the founder. The head of any charitable organization should firmly stand for the advancement of humanity over self.
Sadly, Lance Armstrong has always been in it for himself. Contrary to those more hopeful, I fully believe that founding the Livestrong organization was just another masked tool for feeding his ego and hiding his ugliness. The mess he created with cowardly lies is worse than a pair of stained bike shorts.
In defense of Livestrong, Lance's motive doesn't change the amazing impact the organization has made and will continue to make through the sweat and dedication of a staff of likely good intentioned employees. For those people and the fact that the organization provided me with valuable support during my own cancer experience, I will always back their mission. As Livestrong stated, in their own press release response to Lance's confession, I too believe that "the mission is bigger than any one person." And while it is a bit hard to swallow that the platform for such positivity was built on deception, Lance's confession to doping doesn't change the positive effect Livestrong has had on millions of patients and their families.
Unfortunately, after the confession, I must take issue with those who continue to argue that Lance Armstrong built Livestrong with any universally good intentions. Considering he spent his life letting countless others look foolish in order to maintain his own glorified image, it is hard to fathom that Livestrong was anything but another byproduct (albeit a positive one) of obsessive pride.
This shouldn't come as a shock. Evidence shows that his character has always pointed to self-absorption and personal validation above all else. That's why he wrote autobiographical books, dated a rock star and became best friends with a celebrity actor. Whether he wants to admit it or not, it is also why he had to have the best cancer organization in the country. Lance Armstrong needs to win regardless of cost. He cares for no one else. Eventually many felt it would ruin him and now with one half-ass confession, it has. Instead of a legacy, Lance will go quietly with his tail tucked; his best achievement being that he provided us a nice lesson in humility. The only gratitude I will ever express to Lance is for his charitable donation of how not to live your life. Hell, I'd even wear the bracelet.
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