For me, that line is what defines Bill Clinton, his presidency, and what has become a journalistic nightmare here in the US. It is not merely that he used linguistics coupled with his Slick Willy lawyering to create a precedent for questioning the very meaning of a word that is a building block to the language, nor does it matter that he later admitted to having “sexual relations” with Monica and others; the damage had been done: he undermined the fabric of the language and common sense.
Had he instead been honest, or simply pleaded the 5th, or said, “That is none of your business and does not concern the office of the presidency to which I was granted the privilege to serve,” I could respect him. But instead he lied, throwing those women under the bus, and mocking the common man’s understanding of truth. And rest assured, I am an equal opportunity politician basher…George W. should have gone over and bopped Saddam on the nose for trying to assassinate his daddy, but instead, he involved other people’s children and cost future generations the bill for his cowardice. Shameful.
But we all make mistakes, albeit, not as grave as those “great men”, but to err is human. So are we to be defined by our mistakes? Perish the thought! For if so, I should throw in the towel now. Instead, I tried to instill in my children the belief that, it is not what you do that defines you, but what you do after…
Be your own hero. Act courageously after you blow it; apologize after you’ve wronged someone; eat a salad after you’ve binged on junkfood…get back on that horse. If you do, your mistake will become a thread that is weaved into the fabric of your life and will somehow be made into an opportunity for growth and greatness.