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Commentary: What Tiger Didn't Say

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If you were interested in what the Associated Press "Golfer of the Decade" and Professional Golfer's Association "Player of the Year" Tiger Woods finally had to say to explain his three month-absence from the real world, Friday was an interesting day.  Tiger Woods' statement continues to be debated by men and women. Some say he wasn't contrite enough, too stiff and did not appear sincere. Other folks state that they are simply weary of the topic. Common comments are: Men will be men, they cheat. Let his wife Elin deal with it. Just get him back out on the greens. My take was mixed. In typical Tiger form, he was generally stoic, matter-of-fact and seemingly able to push his emotions down deep into his belly. For example, with obvious media coaching and placement, a look into the camera while saying, "I am truly sorry" was effective the first time and annoying after that. A similar strategically placed hand over his heart while discussing his suffering family generated the same internal response for me. I was not moved by his non-verbal posturing. In Tiger's defense his livelihood has been predicated by his ability to successfully control his emotions and focus on the task at hand. Fortunately, I wasn't watching his primetime mea culpa with the sound off. I was listening to every word. Here is what I heard. I heard a man who acknowledged the fact that "I cheated, I had affairs." Boy, did he ever!  Framing his message to his wife, family, employees and fans, he acknowledged the pain that he caused by his "repeated, irresponsible behavior." He talked about participating in 45 days of in-patient treatment and therapy and that more was in store. A good message for individuals who need to work on some aspect of their lives. His re-introduction to Buddhism and the quote " A craving for things outside of ourselves causes an unhappy and pointless search for security" was curious. Primarily because one doesn't have to be a Buddhist to know that rule. Happiness comes from within, not from random cocktail waitresses and broke-down porn stars. Here is what I didn't hear. A plea for forgiveness. He never uttered the word. Mistake? Probably not. I think that Tiger didn't want to paint himself as a victim dependent on the forgiveness of others to forgive himself. Instead he asked his fans and family to "believe in him". I'm sure that Elin believed in him. By now Tiger must realize that actions speak louder than words. Tiger must look in the mirror and ask without the benefit of a  written speech if he believes in himself. By then, maybe he'll be ready for a  few deeper questions. Read more:
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