A beneficial exercise for Tiger Woods would be to study the theory of mine called “Hero Fatigue Syndrome,” find out what it means and learn how to navigate through it. Hero Fatigue Syndrome is mostly an American phenomenon, but does exist elsewhere and throughout the history of mankind.
It is mostly a psychosocial mental condition of the mob or the masses. It is a human condition or behavior that manifests itself in pride, loathing, and self-image. It is a projection of publicly enforced trials and tribulations upon a public or known figure. It has become an American pastime and modern America has brought it to a whole new level.
How it works is this. The people build up an individual and turn him into a hero. The individual has usually accomplished some feat or had some skill that brought them to the forefront of the eyes of the masses. This individual is showered with admiration, awards, and riches. The person or persons are built up like a God-Like figure and celebrated publicly for a time. That is the first part of Hero Fatigue Syndrome.
The second part is called “The Take Down” and that is just what it is. It is not a visit to Elysian Fields, but a brutal public takedown of the hero. It is usually triggered by some misstep or mistake made by the Hero. The takedown is friable in nature and no aegis exists for the Hero. The takedown is effusive and it is public. The velocity of the unstoppable takedown is as powerful and as fast as the build up itself.
It has become a national pastime for America to build these people up, only to destroy them in the end and take them down. Tiger Woods through his missteps has found himself right in the cross hairs of Hero Fatigue Syndrome. There is nothing he can do to stop it. It must run its course and it will control his life for a time.
People have survived Hero Fatigue Syndrome, such as Michael Vick or Michael Milken. Redemption is possible, but in that redemption lies the possibility of the public putting the Hero through it all over again. That risk only exists if the Hero wants to return to the love of the masses, but some just fade into the sunset never to be seen or heard from again. Gary Hart and Mark McGuire are examples of staying off the radar screen.
It is an individual question each Hero must struggle with. To stay away or return to the limelight after being disgraced will depend on the level of narcissism that is a side effect of Hero Fatigue Syndrome. Tiger must ask himself a soul-searching question. Will he take the money he earned and fade off into our memories or will he try to return to national prominence and risk Hero Fatigue Syndrome all over again?
When once again he lets his libido and bad judgment get the best of him, the people will be right there to start the process all over again. After all, who do these heroes think they are? The public still has to go to work and fight through that rat race every day. Heroes should never let us down.
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