Paterno can be more than a bad example (blog)

I've been reluctant to say anything publicly about the Penn State situation. I don't live my life as a victim because of abuse I experienced as a child. And, my deepest, heartfelt prayer is that those who are victims are eventually able to make peace with what they've experienced so as not to live the rest of their lives as victims either. But, I don't believe anyone who has experienced such a violation does not feel outraged at the knowledge that an adult could witness such a crime and not do everything in their power to stop it immediately. So, yes, I am outraged. Most victims are not violated where witnesses are likely to see them and many, such as myself, are so ashamed and confused that they don't come forward for several years after the fact, if at all. Their pain is private and their abandonment becomes, sadly, somewhat self imposed. But, that's not the case here. Someone saw this and others in positions of responsibility had knowledge of it and did little to nothing to stop it.

Thanks to Jon Stewart for expressing the outrage so well. Indeed, the pissed off child in me wants to rage "SORRY it's not CONVENIENT for you to blame it on some group of people you don't care about anyway!!!!" Part of me wants to laugh in the face of those who mock churches, priests and clergy members and say "SEE, it's not just THEM it's YOU TOO!!! and not taking a good, long look at yourself and what YOU would do makes this sickening situation possible. So, thank you VERY much. What did YOU DO to stop this?"

But, what good does that do? Not just in THIS situation but in EVERY situation, blaming some "other" group does nothing but allow us to take no personal responsibility and, to stop this, we have to take responsibility. We, as individual adults, have to know what we would do. And, more than that, we have to do it. 

From a very young age I came to know that an adult who would molest a child is sick. There is something terribly wrong with that person. So, when Sandusky appears on television today in an interview, I will not watch what is reported to be his denial that anything wrong happened while admitting he showered with young boys. Courts can decide his fate. It makes no difference to me except that I'm thankful such publicity will make it unlikely he could ever harm a child again. His interview is of little interest to me. They are rantings of a lunatic who should have been stopped, who should have been under some sort of care and therapy for his illness. With this understanding of him as a sick person, I can quiet my mind. I just can't when it comes to Joe Paterno.  I don't understand. And, I don't understand those who are not outraged at his lack of leadership in a situation that is far more important than football. I want to understand. I really do. Because then I'll know how to deal with it.

Joe Paterno has a huge opportunity here. If he would ony share his thought process, expose the gaps in his logic and in his own understanding, show people how such a thing can happen and ways to not let it ever happen again. He doesn't have to be a bad example for the rest of his life. Take it from someone who doesn't have to be a victim for the rest of hers. 


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