We are…

We are…a mess.

Yes, collectively. As in, all of us.

A horror of injustice occurred at Penn State University’s State College campus. I’m not talking about football. As much as the game is loved and revered in Happy Valley, this isn’t actually about football. It’s about a man – several, actually – and a number of boys whose horror was ignored in favor of protecting reputations. Consciously, or not. Regrets in hindsight, or not.

I’m not going to moralize about the judgments made by the specific people in that particular tangled web of injustice. The fact is, that web ensnares every person who has chosen to look the other way; to keep quiet; to do only what is required by the rules.

I’ve done all those. So have you.

Looking the other way perpetuates hopelessness.

Silence speaks loudly of indifference.

Rules don’t alleviate suffering.

Today is a new day with a fresh, garish reminder of our selfish inclination to protect ourselves first and others at some point thereafter.

Today is a new day with a fresh opportunity to commit to caring more about someone else’s need, interest, safety, suffering, or hopelessness, than our own.

Today is a new day. Don’t look away. Don’t settle for the minimum required. Don’t protect your reputation. Build character.

3 Responses to “We are…”

  1. adam mclane
    November 10, 2011 at 4:58 pm #

    You’re amazing, Patti. Thank you fo these encouraging words.

  2. Carl
    November 10, 2011 at 5:07 pm #

    Patti, you have fleshed out exactly what I was trying to say in my Tweet last night. How many times have I stood by and watched as injustice was allowed to take root and flourish- all because getting involved would cost me something. The answer is far too many. You are a blessing. Thank you.

    • patti
      November 10, 2011 at 5:12 pm #

      Sadly, Carl, I’m pretty sure there’s some version of overlooking an injustice for most of us, most days. I hate that it takes a reminder like this to spur us to do better for ‘the least of these.’

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