In this day and time, we often blur lines that once were pure black and white allowing for others mistakes. What was once alcoholism, pure and simple, resolved by will and determination to live a better life is now categorized, or confused, by its designation as a disease where there really isn’t a cure unless you attended a pricey in-house program which may or not work depending on the individual. It’s become complicated and harder to deal with, thus, harder to resolve.
Divorce at one time was considered inappropriate and wasn’t done until no-fault divorces made it easy to say sayonara to the one who was the love of your life. With little or no thought to the children or the foundation built on a life together, adults abandon each other and their families when times become hard. Life is messy and not always convenient or perfect, but thankfully there is still something negative about the individual when they walk away from their loved ones. Children rarely are grateful for a divorce, but their say in what will happen goes unheard.
Although both of these events generally revolve around families, there are other, bigger issues where the lines once drawn are smudged by attitude. Such thoughts are provoked by the scandal at Penn State. I had heard only snatches of the news and didn’t get the complete story. In discussion with someone else about the situation, he informed me that the first knowledge of what Jerry Sandusky, a former Penn State assistant football coach, was doing happened nine years previously. For the nine-year delay in reporting the incident to the police there is no excuse. Nine more years of Sandusky continuing to abuse young children most, if not all, of whom were “benefitting” from The Second Mile, a foundation established to help young boys. Sandusky created the foundation and now we know it was for his benefit not that of the kids.
There are too many crimes to recount here, but for me the worst of the worst is that “good” responsible adults i.e., the football coach, staff and university officials gave Sandusky the benefit of the doubt and carelessly ignored all warnings. It’s obvious that they didn’t want to do anything that might be negative for themselves or for the university. They can and will pay the repercussions of denial for the remainder of their lives. A program that had a sterling reputation is now irreparably damaged. Joe Paterno, nicknamed “Joepa” by adoring students, revered by most people will forever bear the brunt of bad decisions made in favor of that and those he loved. By doing so, he created far greater damage. It’s a very sad ending for what appeared to be a stellar job, but protecting self and other adults over vulnerable children will never be right. For that, we can be thankful.