Today I had to practice peace quite actively. I was not feeling peaceful about the situation at Penn State. I’m sorry to see such an illustrious career end this way, but as I’ve been writing about throughout this pledge, we all make choices. A variety of people at Penn State made choices in relation to this incident, and as far as I can tell very few of those choices took into account a young boy who had been violently attacked. That left me feeling decidedly unpeaceful.
In fact it left me feeling quite disturbed as I heard and read more. Normally I don’t delve deeply into stories like this because I don’t find it constructive. This one though caught my attention. A university of Penn State’s stature treating a crime against a child with such little care for the child is unacceptable, unbelievable. Each person will have to live with the choices they made along the way, including Joe Paterno. Yet how does that compare to a child who didn’t have a choice?
In my less than peaceful state I wondered how differently everyone would have acted in the situation had the victim been the child of someone they knew. Where were the people who know they are all our children?
It was a sad day and yet I was glad to hear many voices of reason amid the din. Voices that said yes, he was a wonderful coach and yes maybe he wasn’t personally responsible, but didn’t he think about that child afterward and wonder why nothing was done? Integrity as a football coach isn’t the same as integrity as a human being. The well being of a football program isn’t more important than the well being of a child.
If there is any peace to be found in this for me it is in the hope that no other children will be harmed now that it has been brought to light, and that we may all be reminded through this sad situation that each choice we make is important and touches the lives of others.