While reading the news of Marc Anthony, often known as the Ghillie Suit Bowhunter, and his possible misrepresentation of a Boone and Crockett buck, I was reminded of a chapter in Dr. David McKenna’s book, Never Blink in a Hailstorm and Other Lessons on Leadership. The chapter is entitled, “Never Steal A Paperclip.”
The chapter title might seem ridiculous to some. A paperclip has no value in comparison to a set of antlers. Although, as McKenna so adequately penned, it’s not about the value of the paperclip, it’s about the principal of taking what does not rightfully belong to us, no matter its value.
Bigger Gets Noticed, But At What Cost?
Having read multiple reports surrounding the Anthony scandal, there seems to be a preoccupation with assigning possible motives to Anthony’s actions, and to focus on “fame,” “money” or “sponsorships.” What I have failed to see mentioned is a reminder to those hunters who are very passionate about what we do — to learn from this and be careful we don’t start ‘stealing paperclips.’ In an industry that thrives on bigger, we can never allow our egos to become more valuable than our integrity.
In a world where many believe they are entitled to what rightfully belongs to someone else, we cannot dismiss our own susceptibility to the same temptation. (I didn’t say we had to succumb.) And these temptations are clearly evident in the outdoor industry. In 1998 there was the Rampola Buck scandal. Now we have Marc Anthony’s recent debacle. And there is a significant list of others who have fallen prey to greed and fame. It’s not hard to see that assuming an entitlement attitude always leads to a lack of ethics.
It would be easy to sit back and ridicule Marc Anthony for his possible misrepresentation of a Boone and Crockett buck, but what does it say to us as hunters – what does it mean for me? Personally, the scandal surrounding the legendary Ghillie Suit Bowhunter has left me shaking my head and checking my heart.
Just Be Real
If what he is being accused of is true, I doubt Anthony started his downward spiral by surgically placing a set of 190-inch antlers on a much smaller buck. Somewhere he started underestimating the value of his integrity. This should be a solemn reminder to just be genuine, for in the end it’s your integrity that matters.
Yes, it’s okay if you want your photos to look good, but its not okay if they’re fake? Yes, it’s okay when people compliment, but it’s not okay if you’re arrogant. No, there is nothing wrong with wanting to harvest a Boone and Crockett buck, but what’s your motive? If intent and motive lack integrity, they will drive us to self destruction.
Anthony’s situation should force us to ask some tough questions? Such as, “Are we making ourselves look better than what we really are?” “How much ego is in what we do?” These are fair questions that I need to ask myself. I know no other way to safeguard my own integrity.
What’s More Valuable?
A part of me wants to go ask Mr. Anthony how it all started. What small decision led to his alleged fall? I would also like to go hug his kids, tell them to love their daddy, and to forgive him.
What’s hard to comprehend is it’s all over a piece of bone. Bone. A bone. A stupid bone. Ultimately, it’s over something that has no intrinsic value.
And this piece of bone has left me asking, “…for what?”
We all know the answer. God help us to keep our egos in check. We must keep God first, family second and continue to realize the most important things in life don’t hang on a wall.
For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Mark 8:36