NEXT102 Joe Paterno And All Things Holier Than Thou

Posted on : 11-11-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Heart Talks

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock this past week, you’ve heard/read/seen the news about the winning-est football coach in history, Joe Paterno of Penn State  being fired, along with Penn State President Graham Spanier in the wake of a sex abuse scandal in which authorities said they failed to do enough after learning of it from an assistant Coach.  Now before I piss off a whole bunch of you, I want to say for the record that a.) sex abuse is never okay and b.) sex abuse is especially heinous when it is perpetrated on a kid and c.) sex abuse is never okay.

I’m telling you all that because I want you to remember it when I tell you what may piss you off which is why this whole media hoopla has got me up in arms and it’s not just because of really gross negligence and awful sex abuse allegations that seem to be torn from the pages of a Law and Order Special Victims Unit script.  It’s because so many of us are missing so many huge points. It’s like we’re all just a huge litter of Pavlov’s dogs ready to jump at the first threat that the media and press throws out to us with our very surface opinions on whatever the matter du Jour is (enter unruly taunting Monty Python character here)…

French Taunting Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Yes, the whole situation with Penn State and the alleged situation with the children is horrendous.  Yes, it is extremely sad that such a great hero such as Joe Paterno is being driven to his knees so late in life after all that he has done for so many.  And do you really think that this kind of sex abuse situation where some people know and don’t really shake the bushes about it to put a stop to it is rare?  Really? Can I say Catholic Priests?  And not that there is anything the matter with Catholic Priests, but not too far back if you rifle through most cities’ Daily Planet rags you will find headline news about the sex abuse allegations of many Catholic Priests being hidden for decades.

Witch hunts only make certain that witches will hide.  Ye gads people do you really think that burning famed figures at the stake because they preferred to throw the hot potatoe to the next person in line and ignore what happens is going to make someone in a similar situation in the future pause and say, “hmmmm, I remember what happened to Paterno and Spanier so rather than passing this to someone and then focusing on what brings glory and fame and money to many, I’m going to risk losing it all by following the whole chain of command and shaking a lot of bushes to make sure things get done”? Really?  Well, I want to be part of that world where most people would respond that way but unfortunately probably what most of us would do in that situation is try to make it go away as quietly as possible.  I mean, I think I would raise all kinds of hell if it was me but I don’t have as much to lose as Paterno and Spanier did either.

One of my favorite blogger/tweeter CEO/Consultants, Peter Shankman, wrote a recent article entitled, “Why Most People Are Full of Shit“.  Suffice it to say that I don’t believe I’m digressing too much by referring to Peter’s article because he’s saying that 99% of the people you meet in the world are full of shit. And then gives examples of say two people bumping into each other and saying “they’ll have to meet for coffee” with really not having any intention of meeting in a dark alley at high moon much less sharing a cup of Jo with each other.  Okay, so a few of those FOS (full of shit) people were blasting the airwaves yesterday on one of my favorite talk radio shows (KLBJ AM – Jeff Ward) pretty much saying that Paterno should be hung out to dry along with a whole bunch of the higher ups.

Sorry,  not going to really be able to take in your sincerity of opinion because I know that you are really an FOS person who is used to talking out of both sides of your mouth.

Now, with that said the kind of people I will listen to very intently are the ones who have suffered at the hands of someone like Sandusky.  I know you’re coming from raw experience.  And I’ll listen to someone who has been in Paterno’s shoes and learned  some hard lessons about sweeping stuff under the carpets.  I won’t give someone like Sandusky any attention at all; however, I might listen to his wife just to find out how it could be possible to be in such total denial of someone you are married to for so many years.  That’s a case study in itself.

What I’m trying to say here is GLASS HOUSESSSSSSS!  We have an opportunity with a case like this to really look within ourselves so that we can become willing to grow and learn.  We can look into yet another freaking broken system to see how we can handle things differently.  We can learn to be willing to look into the dysfunction going on in our own lives, families, work, friend situations and let the healing begin with us.

I can almost guarantee you that there are so many more people responsible for what occurred and didn’t occur then has come out in the press thus far.  A sick situation that has lasted so very long has a whole lot of people in agreement, whether consciously or unconsciously, to keep things status quo.  I bet there’s a lot of aching necks from looking the other way for so long.  And not very many of us can be found without some kind of dirt on our own selves because dirt like this flings far and wide.

It’s a very sad situation that is being played out all the time, all over the world by so many people so the thing that we need to do is look to ourselves first for how we can clean up our side of the street and then look out in our own lives to see where we can shine the light and bring in some awareness and healing.

It’s really easy to get on top of a high platform and yell out the injustices at the top of our lungs. Sometimes, in fact, it’s a very good thing to do this.  But what seems to be our kryptonite is accepting our own humanity with all of our perfections and fallacies so that then we can then accept the reality of what is, and then decide the best response and action to take.

How will you show up in your life today?

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