I liked Dennis Rodman, the basketball player. It was a love-hate relationship however, with respect to his outrageous personality. I hated his hedonistic lifestyle and his loose morals to be honest but beyond that of course, I couldn’t help but have a grudging respect for his truthfulness to himself.
Because whatever it is that might have defined him as a bad boy that has continually made him the poster boy of moral degeneracy, he at least had the courage and the will to assert his vision of himself in his life. For the most part, he has been true to himself.
That is what I admire in him.
Because, frankly, I can never be like that.
Like everyone else, I have certain social norms that hold me back. I am restricted by societal roles that I must fulfill. My shoes as an adult has been made for me, chosen by a lot of factors that have molded me to become what I am today.
Like I cannot say the f-word because doing so would violate the personality that people have thought of me. I cannot be weak-minded because people see me as a strong independent spirit. I cannot be wasted because frankly, if I did get wasted, I would no longer be the JD that people knew. I’m supposed to be dependable and responsible. To go against that would be a sacrilege that would be hard to get over with.
But Dennis, he defied it. He went against the brand that society has imposed on the individual and despite hurting the people he loved and getting the scorn of most people who thought his antics to be over the top, he at least had a small measure of satisfaction that he was true to himself.
The price he paid and will pay however, is quite staggering. He wasn’t a good father, he had admitted. He is lucky his wife is a strong woman and she has raised their kids with a lot of love and strength. And if heaven exists, he would literally have to walk through the eye of a needle to get through.
He is selfish. He is a hedonist. He is in the eyes of a fundamental Christian, quite immoral. Human freedom with its extremes – not exactly a role model.
But I would be remiss also to ignore that he has some good qualities – truthfulness to himself (even when its self-destructive) for one.
I won’t ever have Dennis’s courage, however. And neither will majority of people. The real us remains hidden inside the personalities we show outwardly to the world surfacing only when we are alone in the shower with nobody within earshot.
And I do say the f-word at times. And I am no saint – I’m a sinner like everyone else…