It is one thing to pat oneself on the back and proclaim that one is a pontiff of sorts; one is on a greater moral and ethical plateau than the ordinary denizens and even one’s spouse, children and friends. But it is a different matter to be humble to not proclaim oneself as the infallible, moralist hero. The pleasure one may sense by this sententious being and when patting on the back is narcosis and the state, narcissism-more so when an image of the wronged is created. This is not a liability found in the elite of the society or the celebrities who are caught with their trousers down, with foot in their mouth; it is also seen much amongst us ordinary souls.
Cheating on oneself is more dissolute than cheating on your spouse or the world itself. I do not know what would be for instance in the mind of Louis Armstrong now. Reading his autobiography, “It is not about Cycling”, I was impressed by the raw courage and perseverance he displayed from a terminally sick stage and come back into the world to inspire awe by winning the most grueling physically exerting sport, the “Tour de France”. I’m sure he would have felt empty within even when he proclaimed that he was wronged and unfairly handled or even when he wore the Yellow jersey of the winner of the tour seven times.
But Armstrong just happens to be another human being who perhaps led himself to be deluded. This deluding happens every day amongst many.
But I think not about deception perse as seen in the case of, say a Tiger Woods or an Armstrong. It is about the character we generally display to the world, the image that we create for public consumption and with some, for comfort of hallucination. What I’m, is best told by my spouse and my children. Mothers may be prejudiced in favour of their child. But I guess the wife/husband or the children may be forthcoming and candid. So what we are is best known from our spouse and kids. This is especially true in case of folks who claim a higher ground for themselves in character, outlook even in mundane or seemingly trivial matters. A person who champions in public the cause of women’s emancipation and equal treatment may be the most cantankerous and quibbling man at home. A man or woman who exhibits the air of a perfect partner may be the artist of malarkey and ruse back home. These fantastic revelations are closed circuited inside the walls of the house and privy to the spouse and the kids only. Some of them can be even misogynist.
I have known a close relative whose promiscuity was deftly covered up by his spouse all the while when she was alive. But it was shockingly made aware to me after her death, his profane indulgence with women and his disregard for his conduct being known to his teen aged daughters. When she was alive he used to assault his wife provoked by his temper and the matter seldom seeped through the walls of the house. He retired from a powerful position with a multi- national company. He was seen and known as a disciplinarian, a gentleman, an unfortunate bereaved, loving husband and affectionate father!
There are some who thrive by blaming the spouse, usually the wife. The image they create to the outer world is that of the gentleman, the tolerant and loving husband, a person who has much forbearance and patience with his spouse. It is a revelation that is opposite that we get to see if the wife chose to talk. Such people are always enjoying the image of the wronged.
It is true that we can find specimen in all matters in the society we live. This person a woman was a termagant - cantankerous and emotionally debilitating in attitude and conduct towards her husband that he was driven into alcoholism. His was not a case of silly excuses and self-justification to hit the bottle. He chose to drown himself in the trickery that inebriation and over dose of alcohol provides. Well his wife was in fact an image of friendliness and the wronged.
Why do I say so much? Because it is mentally comforting to have the image of what you are, of what your spouse or children would define you as.When you know you are a semi-outlaw and a fallible, an ordinary mortal who will stumble,who is not above infractions but moves on, rather than a contrived wax image of moralist and the wronged.