We have all seen so many of these kinds of stories that we typically just shake our heads and say, “Seriously. Does anyone have any integrity anymore?” I remember when I was teaching this class on character and leadership back in 2001 and Kobe Bryant, a married man, was accused of raping a woman in a Denver hotel room. While we still don’t know the particulars of that night, we do know that Kobe had sex with someone who was not his wife. My students said to me, “If you can’t expect that of Kobe Bryant, you can’t expect that of me.” Kobe lowered the bar of societal expectations. Since that day, I have seen scandal after scandal that cumulatively lowers the bar for the next generation.
The problem is that we get desensitized. We start to think there is a new norm – the way we do when we watch Jersey Shore or The Real House Wives of Beverly Hills. I’m not naive here. I know the stats. Roughly 50% of husbands cheat and wives are not too far behind anymore in that category. But, that still means that roughly 50% of spouses don’t cheat.
Yes, tomorrow some athlete, celebrity or politician will get caught up in the next scandal and we will all shake our heads in unison. There is always another story. But, I must say, that I was a little surprised by the actions of a group of secret service agents, the ones who are charged with protecting the president of the United States. I was left wondering, am I just crazy enough to think that we shouldn’t raise our expectations? Shouldn’t we all expect more from “the best of the best”? Shouldn’t we expect more from society and its participants in general? Don’t words like character, integrity and good-judgment mean anything anymore. I don’t know, but I can’t help feeling a little deflated after reading a story like this. What say you?