Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Lessons From My 20s: Paterno & I Both Have Scandals...

Okay, another post on Lessons I've Learned From My 20s...This one is Paterno & I Both Have Scandals.

I may not look scandalous, but I am...

Much to my husband's embarrassment, I didn't know who Joe Paterno was before this week. But now I do. Everyone is furious at him. It's all over the news. Here is a guy who knew something wrong was happening & didn't stop it. He didn't step in. He was passive. 

I wrote a post a few months ago, The Speck and The Plank , that talked about this a bit. So, my lesson is that I am the same as Joe Paterno...I just get paid a bit less. No seriously, I have done the same thing he has. Joe Paterno decided that another person's value wasn't worth the cost. The cost of time it would take to file a complaint. The cost of being interrupted and opening  up a can of worms. Most of all, the cost of loosing a coach that was valuable to the team's success. 

I have done the same thing. So many times I say nothing about an injustice happening before my eyes:

The whole office is gossiping about a colleague. I don't want to get involved. Besides, if this person gets bad reputation then maybe I will get the promotion instead of them.

I hate that this lady is calling her kids horrible names in the grocery store. That is just terrible. But it would be SO awkward if I said something. I'm sure her kids will forget she called them stupid.

In class everyone is ganging up on another student. Oh, well it isn't a big deal. It isn't serious bullying. Plus, if I stand up for him they may start picking on me too.

I don't manipulate and control other people. I am just very strategic in getting my own way. No one gets hurt too badly in the process. It's just the quickest way to get what I want.

I have had each one of these thoughts. You have too. Somewhere deep inside our society we have decided that oppression & injustice are horrible. Someone should do something about it. Just not if it requires something of me personally. 

We have forgotten to sacrifice our needs & wants on behalf of another's needs. Paterno didn't sacrifice his desire to be successful in order to step in for some boys. I haven't sacrificed my desire to be well liked to step in for another who was getting slandered. 

Stories like this make me angry and I hope that people go to jail. Abuse of any kind is wrong. Period. I pray for the victims, I pray that justice gets done and I pray that God would change my heart. I ask God to transform the places in me that values myself over other people. I encourage you to do the same.


  1. I'm sorry, but that picture and your seemingly cavalier comparisons are really in poor taste given the details of the Penn State tragedy. Yes, all sin is equal, but that does not absolve Paterno of his responsibility for that 10 year old boy and every other child after him that was victimized by Sandusky.

  2. Point taken. I really meant no offense. What is going on at Penn State is horrific. People should go to jail. I have kids & any sort of abuse regarding a child I take personally. My heart is that I wouldn't simply point fingers. I don't go to Penn State & I don't see such obvious abuses in my daily life. But, that doesn't mean that I am not responsible for responding to what I DO see. Even if they aren't as severe. 'Major' or 'minor' they are all wrong. And if it happens in front of me, the it is my responsibility to act on it. That was my only point. Thanks for drawing attention to the need for clarity.