Yesterday Tiger Woods earned his first PGA Tour victory in almost three years. And his game appears poised for another run of dominance. I couldn't help feeling satisfied by his win-- indeed, throughout the entire public scandal, I've always found myself rooting for Tiger. Why?
His personal failings are immense; he clearly lacks character and integrity in his personal life. But don't his achievements in the game reflect character? I think so. Not every principle of moral conduct is an absolute. I see deep meaning in Tiger's pursuit of excellence. A man who seeks to build value by honing his craft commits a moral act, and Tiger has achieved great beauty in his craft.
I don't buy this notion that we have to condemn Tiger in order to assert our own moral position. One can appreciate and value true excellence when it is achieved, even if it is achieved by a man who has lied, cheated, and hurt his family. One cultivates personal character by respecting what they value, not by judging others' personal failings.