Humility Leads to Healing

By Todd A. Smith

          The tragic fall from grace of Tiger Woods can be summed up in one word, arrogance.  The iconic golfer admitted this long before the Masters golf tournament this week.  However, after arriving in Augusta, Ga., the response that the iconic golfer has received from fans, foes, and journalists has proven that humility can help him rise from the depths of disgrace back to the top of the leader board at the Masters golf tournament, the pinnacle of the sport.

            At a press conference to kick off the 2010 Masters, we saw a different, contrite Woods.  One who has apparently learned from his mistakes and who is determined to become a better father, husband and role model.  This example should show that no matter how far one falls, they can always work themselves back up, perhaps even rising farther than they had in the past.

            Woods reportedly mingled with fans Monday at the Masters golf tournament, promised to show more respect for the game of golf and opened up at a press conference that he did not control, answering most question honestly and forthright.  He is now signing autographs, something he has rarely done in the past.

            “Coming into (Monday), I didn’t know what to expect with regards to the reception, and I tell you what, the galleries couldn’t be nicer,” Woods said at his press conference.  “I mean, it was just incredible.  The encouragement that I got, it was just—it blew me away to be honest with you, it really did.  And the people here over the years, I know they are extremely respectful, but (Monday) was just something that really touched my heart.”

            The reception that Woods has received at the Masters golf tournament is a testament to the forgiveness and redemption that can come when one shows genuine humility.  When one reaches the pinnacle of success like Woods, it is easy to believe the press clippings that usually come with such success.  Frankly, we as a society create demigods out of our heroes and heroines, which make them falsely feel invincible and above the rules that everyone else abides by.

            However, the fall from grace for such heroes as Woods, Michael Vick and the late Michael Jackson, in the latter stages of his career, should be a reminder to all celebrities and fans that success is a gift from God and all gifts that are given can be just as easily taken away.

            However, unlike people who are so quick to judge, the Creator is just as quick to forgive. But that forgiveness should spark a change in attitude and behavior, and Woods seems ready to make that change beginning at the Masters golf tournament.

            “I’m actually going to try and obviously not get as hot when I play…Just trying to be more respectful of the game and acknowledge the fans like I did (Monday),” added Woods.  “That was just an incredible reception…I haven’t done that in the past few years, and that was wrong of me.  So many kids have looked up to me and so many fans have supported me over the years.  Just wanted to say thank you to them, especially going through all of this over the past few months, it really put things in perspective for me and how much I have appreciated, or underappreciated the fans in the game of golf.”

            If the fans at the Masters golf tournament are any indication, Woods seems to have their appreciation and a new-found appreciation for his God-given gifts and the responsibilities that come with those gifts.


Smith is publisher of Regal Black Men’s Magazine.

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