To the Editor,
The fall of Gen. David Petraeus from grace should wrench our collective hearts into national mourning. Instead, the usual news media, with the professional analyzing dissectors, will blow it up into the newest prevailing controversy by feeding us daily, salacious tidbits until another media storm trumps it.
What is there about us that loves to see the high and mighty fall from grace? We are like a school of famished piranhas swirling around each other, waiting to devour the next morsel of fresh kill.
Petraeus obviously was a man of character, integrity, ambition, intelligence and work-a-holism. He spent a considerable amount of time with his biographer who, in 10 seconds on television with her beauty, intelligence and self-possessed ambition I sensed, given the right circumstances, could give the pope a run for his moral money.
King David, the greatest general of all time because God loved him exceedingly, committed a far greater act of betrayal with Bathsheba. He essentially had her husband murdered so he could have her - that's how enamored he was with her, simply by watching her bathe in the garden. God did not condemn David, although he punished him by taking their first born.
Most of us are blessed with more than we really need, and are graced with enough to do to keep us busy indefinitely. We are exceedingly loved by our creator.. Yet, instead of being satisfied with the lot in life God has blessed us with, we turn our jealous, envious hearts to those we deem to be more fortunate. And when they fall in a very public way, we react with judgment and condemnation as if we are so much better and immune to such defects.
Petraeus betrayed, first and foremost, himself, like many sports and political figures in this age. But, unlike most, he did not try to lie and cover it up. He had the decency to come clean and take responsibility. That is the foundation of integrity.
We should mourn such falls from grace because we are in desperate need of leaders, those who inspire us with their outstanding character and integrity. And when one of the few public authentics falls, our faith fades and our collective hope diminishes in the overall goodness and decency of the human spirit.