Power corrupts. Do money and fame corrupt as well?
Woods “admitted that celebrity and money had given him a sense of entitlement and had corrupted him,” writes Rabbi Shmuley Boteach in his commentary on Woods’ public apology. (Scroll down to read this week’s posts on Woods and celebrity athletes.)
Money and fame don’t have to corrupt. “Money and fame can be real blessings,” Boteach says. “With the former you can cure poverty, with the latter you can highlight noble causes.”
At least in theory they don’t have to corrupt. Woods’ problems are a microcosm of a tendency in American culture. The pursuit of money and fame “are curses in America today” the Rabbi says. “For all our money, we are the most unhappy nation in the world, consuming three quarters of the earth’s anti-depressants.”
“There is a little Tiger in all of us, a insatiable thirst that has gripped the American soul and that cannot be quenched, whatever the level of consumption.” Boteach just published “The Blessing of Enough.”
The late great sociologist Robert Merton (a winner of the MacArthur “genius” award) noted the primacy of the “monetary success goal” in America. Success is measured by money, and no matter how much one has, one always wants more. Indeed, capitalism depends on it.
So, is there a little Tiger in all of us?
Do you agree with Boteach’s thesis—or do you think he’s off the mark?