Can you separate a person’s beliefs from his or her professional accomplishments?
Many people may say yes upon hearing the idea, because personal beliefs and professional accomplishments seemingly come across as two separate entities. A professional accomplishment is usually built on one’s vision, perseverance, and hard work; three personal traits that we are all aspired to obtain but do not always succeed in having them, because they are not easy to come by. Due to their rarity, whatever that is resulted from the combination of these three traits deserves to be recognized and celebrated. That being said, after further examination on this particular relationship, a few yessayers may start to have second thought on their initial proclamation, due to their discovery of the inseparable nature that often exists between beliefs and their entailed actions and endings.
For a person, who is in a public position, whose words and actions can usually generate ripple effects across the social fabrics, should he or she be allowed the same amount of freedom as the average blue-collared workers to be self-expressive in terms of voicing their personal beliefs and ideologies without any constraint? Or, should fame and notoriety be the conditioning and the rewarding outcome of an expanded awareness of the public inclusiveness that comes with being a celebrity in the public realm?
I remember a Brad Pitt’s interview from years ago, in which Oprah asked him what it was like to be so famous and good-looking. Brad said that meant he had to act more responsibly, because he understood that the impact his fame could bring. Well said. Even if he was not a perfect human being; even if he was not going to act one hundred percent responsibly all the time; nevertheless, on a public platform like an Oprah interview, he had used his fame and fortune for good. And, the beliefs that he chose to share with the public did polish his public reputation and up his popularity exponentially.
Now let’s look at another public figure, who is at the opposite end of the spectrum.
WBA, IBF and WBO world heavyweight champion and BBC’s shortlisted Sports Personality of the Year 2015, Tyson Fury, recently said, and I quote, “I’m not sexist. I believe a woman’s best place is in the kitchen and on her back. That’s my personal belief. Making me a good cup of tea, that’s what I believe.” His other comments also included, “There are only three things that need to be accomplished before the devil comes home: one of them is homosexuality being legal in countries, one of them is abortion and the other one’s paedophilia.”
Clearly, this guy is unapologetic about his personal beliefs, and not afraid to share them publicly, despite their backward and discriminatory nature. In his case, his professional accomplishments have made a monster out of him, whose ego is massaged, excessively, to a point, where it can no longer be contained within the common boundary of social courtesy and genuine acceptance. To backtrack his outrageous statements on women, homosexuals and other sensitive issues he brought up, he used his Irish traditional customs as a justification, which did nothing but make him look like more of a bigot. In my opinion, Tyson Fury’s beliefs serve as an example of what not to believe and what not to say as a decent human being. He is oblivious to his self-contradiction. He is a champion in the boxing ring but a disgusting idiot in the public court of opinions.
At this point of my life, I am yet able to keep one’s personal beliefs and professional accomplishments separate. My reason being: our thoughts drive our actions. They can either motivate us to serve or instigate us to destroy.