Without getting into a theological debate, I am going to use a few Bible verses solely to prove a single point … human nature remains wonderfully constant throughout the passage of time. Here is a favourite--find women tough to understand? Join the club--first a little background:
During wheat harvest, Reuben went out into the fields and found some mandrake plants, which he brought to his mother Leah. Rachel said to Leah, "Please give me some of your son's mandrakes." But she said to her, "Wasn't it enough that you took away my husband? Will you take my son's mandrakes too?"
"Very well," Rachel said, "he can sleep with you tonight in return for your son's mandrakes."
Well, ol’ Jacob was coming home after a hard days work, the account continues: So when Jacob came in from the fields that evening, Leah went out to meet him …
... and she drops the following line on her hubby:
"You must sleep with me … I have hired you with my son's mandrakes."
Huh? Whaa … hired who? WHAT MANDRAKES??? would undoubtedly pop into Jacob’s head at this point. Of course, did he really want to know the details behind that statement? Dare he even ask? Nope, all he had to do was shut his mouth and perform his husbandly duties--which he did …
"So he slept with her that night."--Genesis 30
Wise man ol’ Jacob.
Of course, we guys are wonderfully consistent when it comes to sex. In fact, when Jacob was a young man, he agreed to work seven years for his future father-in-law as a bride price for Rachel. Seven years are finally up and Jacob goes in to see her daddy:
"Give me my wife. My time is completed, and I want to lie with her."--Genesis 29:21
Hey, the poor guy waited seven long years--can you blame him for being so direct?
Speaking of connubial relations, think your wife is guilty of making dramatic statements? Hey, it has been like that since forever. Check these lines out from stressed out spouses:
"Give me children, or I'll die!"--Genesis 30:1
“If Jacob takes a wife from among the women of this land, from Hittite women like these, my life will not be worth living.”--Genesis 27:46
"You hate me! You don't really love me.”--Judges 14:16
“How can you say, 'I love you,' when you won't confide in me?”--Judges 16:15
Sound familiar guys? Here’s another age-old classic human foible: listening to your posse rather older, wiser folk’s advice …
Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all the Israelites had gone there to make him king. When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard this (he was still in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon), he returned from Egypt. So they sent for Jeroboam, and he and the whole assembly of Israel went to Rehoboam and said to him: "Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but now lighten the harsh labor and the heavy yoke he put on us, and we will serve you."
Rehoboam answered, "Go away for three days and then come back to me." So the people went away. Then King Rehoboam consulted the elders who had served his father Solomon during his lifetime. "How would you advise me to answer these people?" he asked.
They replied, "If today you will be a servant to these people and serve them and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your servants." But Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him. He asked them, "What is your advice? How should we answer these people who say to me, 'Lighten the yoke your father put on us'?"
The young men who had grown up with him replied, "Tell these people who have said to you, 'Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but make our yoke lighter'-tell them, 'My little finger is thicker than my father's waist. My father laid on you a heavy yoke; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.' "--1 Kings 12
Dude triggered a revolt--nice going dum-dum.
Things are no different today, every generation of teenagers feel they can make the same mistakes of the previous generation yet avoid the consequences (“It won‘t happen to me!”) . Folks are on their deathbed regretting they spent their life in the pursuit of wealth only to discover it didn’t bring them happiness. They wish to pass along this wisdom to their children and grandchildren who are too busy figuring out what they’ll do with their share of the inheritance thinking the dough will make them happy.
And I hated life, because the work that has been done under the sun was calamitous from my standpoint, for everything was vanity and a striving after wind. And I, even I, hated all my hard work at which I was working hard under the sun, that I would leave behind for the man who would come to be after me. And who is there knowing whether he will prove to be wise or foolish? Yet he will take control over all my hard work at which I worked hard and at which I showed wisdom under the sun.--Ecclesiastes 2
Which brings us to Barry Bonds’ current situation; I like to say about such things ‘that muffled, thudding noise you hear is Darwin turning over in his grave.’ Bonds’ story is a familiar one--a man brought down by hubris. It never fails, no matter how many celebrities crash and burn due to their own arrogance or stupidity, nobody seems to learn from other’s mistakes. Bonds felt he was bullet-proof, invincible since so many interests were protecting him.
What he failed to realize it that invincibility is temporary, it lasts only as long as the person has value to those protecting him. Once the value is gone, so is the protection. Time and again, the next person down the pipe thinks that inevitability will escape them, that they are somehow immune to what happens to everyone in a position of prominence. They burn bridges on the way up never imagining that one day they’ll have to return the same way they came. When that day arrives, they discover that those people are still there, they have long memories and now it’s time for some payback.
This whole saga isn’t about anabolic steroids, or perjury, or baseball’s integrity. It is about a prominent man who behaved like a total butthole towards those he considered beneath him. Due to his stratospheric athletic ability, folks looked the other way, ate his feces and called it pralines and cream because he made people money. Now Barry Bonds holds the all-time home record and if he plays again it will be as a DH. His ability to make others coin is largely diminished. He’ll be too old to play soon and he has zero value as a celebrity pitchman due to his cantankerous personality.
Since he can’t make folks money--why protect the guy? The media is out using keyboards and modems in place of torches and pitchforks, ink and paper instead of tar and feathers eager to see the guy burn and suddenly Bonds discovers just how vulnerable he has become.
However, in time, the lessons learned from the saga of Barry Bonds will be forgotten. There will be other stars on the scene who will behave as Bonds did never thinking the ride will end and we’ll be doing this all over again. Will we ever learn?
Do you hear that muffled, thudding noise now?