There it is: on every TV show, newspaper, radio program and news website, a new scandal has broken. Another [insert "politician, "actor, "minister" or "sports figure"] has been exposed as a ["cheater," "thief," "hypocrite," "domestic abuser," or "lawyer"--just kidding members of the legal profession!] You know, I’m talking about when one’s pretty much ruined his or her life. It’s as predictable as time marching on.
But on a more personal level, what if it’s you who’s messed up. What if it’s you who’s let the team down, brought dishonor to your family, caused a catastrophe or been self-destructive?
So what is the famous person, or even yourself, to do now?
Fortunately, as a Scientologist I have accessible to me tools to help me dig myself out of a major mess I may have created for myself.
Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard looked into the question of right and wrong and developed a body of data on the subject of ethics, of which he said “Ethics consists simply of the actions an individual takes on himself.” (This is as opposed to Justice, which he said was “the action taken on the individual by the group when he fails to take these actions himself.”) And a small part of his discoveries on the subject of Ethics concerns itself with what one can do to recuperate from a real mess.
Depends on how badly one’s situation is, but if one’s really erred, Hubbard found he or she might need to make up the damage one has done and ask folks to admit them back into the group. The person may not get kicked out of an actual club, but you know when you look with disfavor on someone or when you shun them because of their acts and behavior.
And this is where I see many public figures and even folks I know personally falling down. An apology is not the same as rolling up one’s sleeves and making up for what one has done. And it’s why many public figures are never really forgiven for what they do. There are many whose careers have never recovered. For the elbow grease which would, if exerted, demonstrate a real change in the person, a true and permanent learning of a lesson and a turning the corner has not been done.
Unfortunately, when it’s really bad, “Sorry” just won’t cut it. But luckily one can recover, even when all is bleak by taking certain, specific steps.
For more info on this, check out http://www.bridgepub.com/store/catalog/introduction-to-scientology-ethics-hardcover.html.
Cheryl L. Duncan is a veteran public relations strategist and event management professional. Throughout her career she has run campaigns featuring some of the biggest names in entertainment and business, and brought diverse projects and personalities to mainstream attention. Known as “eclectic” by her peers, Cheryl’s diverse client roster has ranged from the New York African Film Festival (Lincoln Center), Jazzmobile, and former Ziegfeld Girl Doris Eaton Travis, to Surgeons of Hope medical mission to Cambodia, the New York City Korean Parade & Festival, and the Congressional Black Caucus’s “State of the African American Male Conference.” A sought-after consultant to other PR firms, among her many achievements in this role is the fact that she was integral to the successful campaign to get Miles Davis inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.