Take Back Your Power
by Randy Gage
What a firestorm of activity on the last post, Penn State Shut It Down Now. I’ve never had a post go so viral, so quickly. There was plenty of outrage and anguish on both sides of the debate. People were discussing who knew what when, who was culpable, and what retribution should be.
Like a lot of you, I was seething with rage at the way the university fell short on this. It’s easy to judge and cast blame, but that isn’t why I wrote the post. Judgment and blame don’t foster prosperity. And I don’t like to live in rage, but to channel it into something positive.
Yet unspeakable horror happened here, and it was allowed to continue for years, because people looked the other way.
It’s easy to denounce Mike McQueary and think we all would have jumped in that shower and rescued the boy. But if you were a young, new assistant in a football program you worshiped your whole life, and saw an authority figure you looked up to your whole life, you might be distraught and confused too.
It’s easy to say JoePa should have dropped everything and called 911 the second he heard, and we all like to think we would have. But in what would probably be the most tormenting and uncomfortable situation you ever encountered in your life – you might report it to your supervisor and breathe a deep sigh of relief knowing it now was someone else’s decision to make.
It’s easy to condemn the janitors that witnessed Sandusky performing oral sex on a boy for not making a report. And easy to think that you would.
The truth is, until one week ago, Joe Paterno was the most powerful man in the state of Pennsylvania. Even the governor did not wield the power and influence that Paterno had. It is no exaggeration to say he enjoyed a status normally reserved for deities.
And Penn State assistant head coaches in that town are treated and revered like royalty. But if you were a minimum wage janitor with a family to support, and walked in on one of the most powerful people in the state conducting a criminal act…
The police supervisor who closed the case on Sandusky… The other college officials who continued to give Sandusky access to the facilities… The people at the charity who seemed oblivious to what was going on by their founder…
Yes, there are lots and lots of questions that must be answered…
So I’m not defending anyone here: McQueary, Paterno, the police, janitor, college officials or the charity. But I’m not judging anyone, not even Sandusky yet, either. Right now these things are all allegations that have yet to be tried. And America is the greatest nation on earth because every citizen is entitled to a defense in a court of their peers.
Now obviously, on the surface, the situation looks pretty damning. And certainly presented way more than enough evidence that Penn State should have alerted the authorities to investigate further.
Only each of the people involved here know the choices they faced and only each will have to answer for the decision they made. There is a court system charged with sorting that out, and I am willing to let that all take its due course.
I’m not a psychologist qualified to speak on the mental health issues, nor am I an attorney qualified to speak on the legal issues. If I was perfect, I’d be the first one to cast stones. But I’m not.
Frankly, I have enough work running my own life, trying to live it with a congruent philosophy and by the principles I believe in. It is not my place to judge others. There are higher authorities in this realm (and perhaps another realm) that are charged to handle that.
People were faced with difficult decisions and it’s easy to look back in hindsight and condemn the choices they made. But we weren’t there. Let’s not be so quick to judge the people who were confronted with very difficult, gut-wrenching decisions. We are all human, and humans make errors in judgment all the time. At the same time, we are responsible for the errors we make.
And that’s where things really get problematic. Because even if we allow for making a wrong decision initially, why did so many people continue to let kids be at risk? How could Coach Paterno allow Sandusky to maintain access to the football facilities? How could PSU let Sandusky keep running his youth camps on university property? How could the Second Mile let him interact with all these kids after all the smoke that was blowing?
So why did I write the original post, calling for the game to be cancelled?
Because it would have been the right thing to do. Because it would have sent a loud, clear and convincing message that decisions would no longer be driven by football revenues, but by what was the right thing to do.
We are blessed to live in the greatest time in human history. And with those blessings come corresponding responsibility. That means living a principle-centered life and standing up for those who are defenseless, exploited, and abused.
Evil spreads when good people do nothing.
I wrote the first post because of the bigger problem and the real issue here: how those obviously flawed original decisions were allowed to compound themselves, at the expense of those kids who were raped and abused.
Paterno, McQueary, Curley, Spanier, two janitors, a private detective, a couple police officers, the local child protection agency, the administrators at Sandusky’s charity, and the attorney who represented both PSU and the charity – ALL of these people were supposed to be a safety net protecting the children.
How did it all go so terribly wrong?
They gave away their power to something they perceived as being bigger than them. The Penn State Nittany Lions football juggernaut. They ceded their responsibility to live by principles to the institution of Penn State football.
And that’s why I feel the game (and perhaps the season) should have been cancelled. While it’s not our place to judge people, it is vital as citizens (and humans), we judge the institutions we trust to lead us. And particularly the institutions responsible for safeguarding our youth.
And in this case, that institution failed its responsibilities, utterly and completely. And it pains me to say this, since I’m the prosperity expert, but the reason was big money.
Penn State sacrificed those kids on the altar of its $72 million football program.
You know I write all the time about memes and all the mind viruses about wealth. They’re so prevalent and insidious. Trot out of the usual one – money is bad, rich people are evil, it’s spiritual to be poor, capitalism is bad, #occupy this, that or whatever – and they’re sure to fall on approving ears. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel.
But all those clichés apply here. Because this is what happens when an institution lets money steer the direction.
By all accounts, McQueary, Coach Paterno, Penn State administers, and the people at the charity, police department and social service agencies are conscientious, hard-working, God-fearing people who spent their lives making the world a better place for kids. (Hell, two weeks ago, you could have found dozens of people who would have told you that Jerry Sandusky was on the fast track to sainthood.)
So how could all these supposedly good people allow such an evil atrocity to occur, and continue for 15 years?
The same way Albert Speer bought into Adolph Hitler, the Mai Lai massacre happened, and advertising agencies create cool advertisements to sell cigarettes to kids.
When surrounded by institutions, people sometimes give away their power to them. They lose sight of their personal responsibility and fail to honor the very principles they believe in.
And this is the greatest prosperity failing you can do as a human. Because the good person who fails to live by principles, is as dangerous (or more so) than an evil one.
There’s a lot of talk in the economy these days about entities that are “too big to fail.” In the case of the Penn State football program, we’ve created a program so big it has failed us.
The aura and mystique of the logo, team, national championships, legendary coach and stadium have created an institution that looms as beyond reproach to the average citizen in the area.
The booster drives, skybox sales, and television contracts fuel the football machine, and the football machine is the engine that drives the university. And because leadership was driven by sports revenue concerns, the very principles upon PSU supposedly stood – got lost in the crush.
I read all the comments in the last post: don’t penalize the students, what about the vendors, think of the economic factor on the city. Sorry, I’m not buying it.
I’m not willing to sell out those kids on the basis of economic factors. If you want to live by principles, you have to do it even when it’s difficult, or costs you money. That’s why they’re called principles.
Some years ago, I opened a marketing consulting company in Central Europe. My partner called me because we immediately had a big company that wanted to put us on a lucrative retainer contract. I was excited until I learned it was a tobacco company. Now I don’t like to turn down $20,000 a month, and at that point in my career, that was a huge amount of money and would have made a major difference in my life and lifestyle.
But there is no amount of money in the world that will cause me to create marketing campaigns to hook kids (or adults) on cigarettes. Don’t get me wrong: I’m a Libertarian. I’ll defend to the death your right to smoke cigarettes, dope, crack, or camel dung. But my principles won’t let me sell it to you.
I can’t save the world. All I can do is live my life by those principles I believe in. And topping that list is personal responsibility.
I realize I’ve been given a platform with influence. And I take that as a sacred responsibility. Now admittedly, it’s an unusual platform. In fact, my publicist, publisher, and even the companies that hire me don’t know how to describe what I do. “Prosperity expert” isn’t one of the categories offered on Linkedin. I don’t even have business cards.
When people ask what I do, I usually reply that I’m a philosopher. Granted, I’m probably the highest-paid, least-educated philosopher you’ve ever met, but that’s essentially what I do.
I author books, conduct seminars, give speeches and write this blog. But I’m not arrogant enough to tell you want to think or do.
I don’t pretend to be an all-knowing being who has solved all the mysteries of the universe. I’m just a guy who started off poor, uneducated, unhealthy, unhappy and unfulfilled. Along the way, I discovered some things that worked, and allowed me to manifest a life of magnificent abundance.
So whether you’re reading my latest book, hearing my latest speech, or watching my YouTube channel, you’re just getting what’s working (or not working) for me at that moment.
My job is to cause you to think. To think about things you may not have thought about before, or in a way you haven’t thought before. You don’t have to agree with me. Just process the information, be a critical thinker, and come up with what works for you.
So here’s what I hope you think about…
Penn State, an institution with unprecedented influence, failed those kids. This is a systemic breakdown, exacerbated with what appears to be a very long and blatant cover-up that occurred when good people lost sight of principle.
People makes mistakes. We all do. The answer isn’t judgment and condemnation. We have to be willing to learn the lessons, strive to do better, forgive, and heal. And yes, each person must be accountable for the actions they take. When it’s all said and done, it all comes back to doing the right thing.
Call me what you will, but I don’t believe trotting out the mascot, marching band and cheerleaders to play a football game this weekend was the right thing for Penn State to do. And I’m not buying that playing the game “started the healing process.”
Penn State had an opportunity to do something bold, to make a statement, to start making things right. They could have replaced that game with a rally for the kids who were raped and abused. They could have used it as a platform to teach kids how to protect themselves and how to get help. They could teach parents how to explain these things to their children.
They could have done the right thing or they could choose the $72 million. They took the cash and ran.
Penn State failed us yet again. But that’s on them. The responsibility is still on you and I. We need to do the right thing.
Speak out for what’s right. We’ve got to curtail these college sport money machines from driving all the decisions. We have to look after the kids.
Please. Talk to your own kids today. Make sure they know it’s safe and okay to talk with you if they think something is inappropriate. If you sense your neighbor’s kid (or your neighbor) is being subject to abuse, contact the proper authorities. And if you think the authorities aren’t acting, contact the media.
If you see someone subjected to bullying, cyber-bullying, or sexual harassment, stand up for them. The Internet, social media, and the plethora of news outlets today gives you power.
What happened at Penn State happened because we ceded our power to a huge, all-encompassing Institution. It’s time to take it back.
You’re going to be in situations where it looks like your personal responsibility is no longer required. That is a lie. No matter what your boss, supervisor, club, school, government, or any organization tells you, you never have the right to relinquish your personal responsibility. Some time you may be required to become that “majority of one.”
In my church, we end every service singing a song. It begins with the words, “let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.”
Darkness can never stand against light. Evil can never conquer the power of good.
The way you help those kids – and everyone and everything else – is to live your life by principle. And never bend those principles to conform with outside pressure. That is where your power is.
Take it back.
Sadly enough they did make an effort to raise money for the victims. There were roughly 106,000 people at the game and they raised $22,000! To me that speaks volumes. If every one there gave one dollar that would be 5 times the amount. Was there even a serious effort? People wake up! Football and money is obviously more important than some underprivileged kid who got set up. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culp!
Public outrage sure does put a lot of pressure on the DA’s office and the Police Department…That should help the victims get the justice they deserve.
Here's a view from a Penn State student, writing in Peter King's football column on Sports Illustrated:
So what you're saying is the Catholic Church should've been shut down years ago? Nothing like blaming an entire institution for the actions of a few. And I still don't understand how firing Paterno was justified in the least. It's apparent from the grand jury statement he wasn't even fully aware of what happened in 2002 or that there were other victims. He commited no crime, yet is having an outstanding career dragged through the mud by people who have to place the blame on football instead of on a sick pervert where it belongs.
Robert how can you say Paterno wasn't aware? He was told in DETAIL what happened. If he reported it to the athletic director, he KNEW what was going on.
Once he knew, he could have monitored Sandusky's actions on the university to catch him AGAIN in the act!! There is not excusing him, he KNEW and could have worked to make sure he wasnt' doing it again on campus. For so many people to have caught him in the act, he was obviously not being too careful!
Randy is upbid right about consience and limitations actions in due process of law. Just be right to take back our power. Well said.
Thank you for your philosophy lessons and for helping us all to think. I agreed with you yesterday and I agree today - but I don't always agree with you.
...and that's why you write - to get us to think...
Yesterday, Gretchen argued that the game should go ahead to for the sake of the local community of innocent people who knew nothing of what was happening.
I argued that that is exactly the same as not punishing a rapist or murderer, because that would hurt his wife and children emotionally and financially.
Gretchen later wrote proudly of how the game went ahead but only after the players took a few minutes of silent prayer. At the time, I responded that this was a good start...
The fact is that it is only a start, if there is something to follow it up. If the university does not take an appropriate stand, then the few minutes of prayer were a farce…
But let's look at two teams of footballers joined together on the field before what might be the most important game of their lives (for many reasons), standing in silent prayer.
I was also a footballer in high school and university (no we don't give football scholarships in Australia – all our university footballers were at university due to academic merit). I know what it is like to be there in front of a crowd before a game.
Seriously - how many of those boys do you think were really thinking of the raped children?
On the other hand, how many were actually praying for God's help to crush the opposing team in the upcoming game?
Call me a cynic - you are probably right. At my age (58) I have seen too much reality to be otherwise. But I still remain optimistic, because I have seen so much of what mankind can get right when given the chance and the motivation.
Randy - you comment (above) on how it all came down to the money -
"They could have done the right thing or they could choose the $72 million. They took the cash and ran. "
Let's clarify here. There are many who will be reading who mistakenly think that the bible teaches that "money is the root of all evil”...
This is the foundation of what most churches like to teach - to keep the congregation poor and get them to hand it all over the church.
Randy - you have often written and spoken about the REAL message from the bible -
"THE WORSHIP OF money is the root of all evil"
And that is the problem with PSU, and all of the universities who rely on their football programs.
Throughout the world, we have fallen into a culture where we worship our footballers (and other sports people) and downgrade our teachers and healers. And nowhere in the world is it as dramatic and ingrained as in the USA.
So many worthy kids who are brilliant, but poor, miss out on college scholarships, because the big money is being spent on footballers - many of whom would never get into college on academic ability (and, in my opinion should not displace those with academic ability).
The footballers are given grades they don't deserve, privileges they haven't earned and adulation suitable for a god and not a footballer. They get away with bad behaviour which other students would be expelled for.
You say they are not paid, but they actually are paid – an education worth hundreds of thousands of dollars is taken away from someone who deserves it on merit, and given to a footballer.
University is supposed to be a place of learning – education... The students are supposed to be learning about morals, ethics and how to think, along with the academic subjects...
But you ask anyone in the world what they know about American universities, and it is all about the football...
In Australia, I have heard of Penn State U - not because of the great educational program, but because of their football program.
I know the name of their football coach, but I don't know the name of their senior physics professor or maths professor (and maths and physics are particular interests of mine...).
Herein lies the problem – the entire university “educational” system is all upside down.
...and it got that way because of the WORSHIP of money.
I feel sorry for you - particularly since you have now become a great fan of football.
I think you are a bit naive to think that the boys were actually preying for the raped and abused kids.
I think you are wrong to ask that the university not be punished, for the sake of the community
I think you were wrong to ask us to believe that the game should have gone on
I think the only reason there was a show of prayer, was purely political - a marketing exercise on the part of the university - to pretend that they cared, while actually making sure they still got their money...
I still believe that the game should have been forfeited, and that the rest of the season should be forfeited - because it is the right thing to do...
But I also believe that all of the universities (both in USA and the rest of the world) need to rethink their approach to "scholarships"...
Look at the word itself. It is about scholastic ability. There is nothing in the word which says football, or sport of any sort.
But you ask the average kid on the street in America what is a college scholarship and they will immediately think of a sporting "scholarship" and not an academic one.
If they want to be called a "University" then they need to get their priorities right - they need to focus on true scholarship and put sport second.
The crimes at PSU started as individual rape, but rapidly became an institutional cover-up.
The reason for the cover-up is the institutional attitude toward sport. And here, the institution is the entire university system, not just PSU.
While seeking to have PSU brought to justice for it failure to protect kids on their campus, consider the possibility to changing the entire university system to bring true scholarship back to the foreground...
Remove the worship of money, and replace it with the worship of what is right, and the search for knowledge, ethics and morality...
For 8 years I attended a church where we ended every service singing, “let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.” It was an institution every bit as abusive as Penn State. I too felt like you flip flopped in your post. It seems to me you are trying to reconcile what happened at Penn State with what you learn at your church about not judging anything. For me, I take a stand and say those at Penn State did wrong and need to be held accountable. End of subject.
I'm hearing (just today) that Paterno was never told about the 1998 incident. That's pretty significant...
I've also read (on blogs, so apply grains of salt) that PA state law has very particular requirements, namely:
"PA law is very explicit about how child abuse and sexual assault is reported: one is required by law to report it to their superior. PA law also states that the person making the report "is not to initiate their own investigation." "
If that's true, then Paterno did exactly what he was supposed to do under state law, as far as the 2002 incident is concerned. Note that, if this is accurate, he was FORBIDDEN BY LAW from conducting his own investigation...
This is getting really murky...
So proud to "know" you Randy. What a guy!!! Can you imagine where the world would be if eveyone followed Randy's example!!! Kudos!!!
Thank You, I feel you the same. After working at a government funded establishment for 18 years, a new administration came in only to abuse female employees,some husbands speaking out only to get their jobs elsewhere threatened. We were told the only opinion was his opinion He has went on to support the board members functions (pillars in the community) and get hefty pay raises. I spoke out but lasted another 7 years, he finally got me too. I think a lot more abuse is out there for the reasons you stated, money, power and people needing the job, knowing if they say something they will be fired and the offense being covered up.
11 Years ago I was working as a Medication Technician at a small nursing home. I caught them rewriting the records to cover med errors. Three people had died in recent months due to med errors. I contacted the authorities. I was told that she had been reported before and got away with it. She got away with it again. I was reported for abuse. I was cleared. Doesn't matter, once you are reported for abuse you can never work in that line of work again.
Your posts (both of them) concerning the tragedy at Penn State are an accurate and moral commentary on what happened (and didn't, but should have happened). As a college football fan, I always had the greatest respect for PSU - quality teams, good values, and fans that were both rabid and demonstrated great sportsmanship, win or lose. It was especially sad to see the incident happen there. I, too am a libertarian, and this is another example of where people forget to take responsibility for making their own decisions or standing for their own principles ... in favor of relinquishing such to an institution. The atrocities committed by the State (worldwide) are obvious, and most happened because the sheeple went along with "authority." Each of us has great power, and we can demonstrate that power in our lives every day. We have no right to tell others what to do, or to confiscate anything from them (pay attention all of you who support the evil State apparatus that does nothing BUT coerce and steal and kill), but our consciousness always has an effect on the entire planet. I too am not here to judge PSU or any of the individuals, but I think it is pretty obvious there was a gross misplacement of priorities, and many kids now will not have the chance to reclaim their innocence as a result. Sports is big business, and many of the larger issues of life, often show up in this arena, and unfortunately, often illustrate the worst of man - giving into to material or sensual desires, instead of claiming their spiritual heritage.
I am getting really tired of being agreable!
"The cruelest lies are told in silence" - Robert Louis Stevenson
Yes, I agree with you big Guy. However, I SAID THE SAME THING YESTERDAY!!!!
NO your "A Beautiful Man" "You are a Jedi warrior."
Of course, I am a woman, but that does not get anyone off the hook here.
I am owning MY POWER. I have stood up to you countless times, for what I believe in. Yesterday, I agreed with you, but I was also saying something no one else was. You get so much credit and adulation for things that M.Scott Peck has said, or me, whatever the case may be, because you are viewd in idoltry here. You are still right, and you said it so much better than I did. And I love this post of yours today, really I do. It echos my sentiments exactly.
But, after this post of yours I feel validated, but also ignored. So, I am angry with you RANDY!!
If you did not read my post yesterday you are off the hook, if you did, oh, oh, oh. Alright, I talked about ego integrity and maybe no one knows what the hell that means. But, come on Big GUY!
I am trying not to be so attention seeking, even though I LOVE your attention. (and you know it) I did not mind that you didn't comment on my post yesterday. But, come on RG, I would like a little credit. A lot of people here think I'm crazy...
I WANT some RG approval. Not just a comment, I want to know you agreed with me too.
Okay, I will shut up now. I don't want anyone to lose their focus. This post,is a very important one. I wish I could have said these things in private to you, but I ain't got much of a choice.
So, Randy did you ever here of Milgrim's research on morality and how it relates to authority? It is a very interesting experiment. I am not sure how ethical the the experiment was, which is ironic because it was about morality...
Also, M. Scott Peck wrote about what you are saying here, in his book "People of the Lie", it was the best view of human evil I have ever read.
Anyway, OWN YOUR POWER people. :)
Annie I see what you are saying there is close to what I said here in this post about not being so quick to judge what decisions we might have made. No I haven't heard of Milgram's research you mention, and I love M Scott Peck but haven't heard of that book.
I have to say one last time: the role of this blog is not to meet you and anyone else's need for attention or approval. You must get those needs met somewhere else. This forum is for intelligent discourse on the issues I raise.
This is a very popular blog and gets lots of comments. There are more than 150 on yesterday's post and getting more all the time. I do not have time to respond to every one. I facilitate the discussion and let the community continue it.
Sorry, I wish I would have said what I had to say in a different way. It is just that it seems like you either disagree with me or your angry with me.
I said something profound, something no one else was saying yesterday. It is pretty much exactly what you are saying in this post, just in a different way. So, when I have been admonished by you so many times, and have been villified and made to look crazy (sometimes I do it to myself, I know), it would be nice to be recognized for saying something important. By you.
I don't care if you respond to me anymore. I like it, I won't lie, but I don't need it. I wouldn't have cared if you didn't mention my name, but to say your blog went viral and everyone was judging, you should have pointed out that some of us were not. You said you read every post....
Here is good lesson right from this post too. I like your approval, because I like you, but I don't have to have it in lieu of forfieting my own principles.
Many times in the past I have remained silent when I feel I have been treated unfairly. Not neccessarily on this blog, but in real life. NOT NO MORE, not no more....
I am taking my power back. I don't need your approval or your attention, I just really like it. And, I consider myself an intellectual. I do add substance to the discourse here. I mean I guess after reading my comments yesterday, you could even say we are intellectual equals. Well, I don't know almost, your getting there Big Guy. ;)
Anyway, if you love M.Scott Peck, read "People of the Lie", it is brilliant. As you know, he was a psychiatrist for the millitary, when the U.S. was in Vietnam. So, he wrote about Mai Lai, he may have even been doing some investigation into that. So, I think you will like it.
Milgrim's experiment is a classic to psychology students. Look it up. I think you will enjoy that also.
Cancelling the football game(s) punishes the football players who had NOTHING to do with what happened. They were not enrolled at Penn State when the deed happened. Does Penn State need to be held accountable? Of course, but not at the expense of student athletes who had nothing to do with the unfortunate incidents. Firing Joe Pa, the president of the University and anyone else who was deemed to do less than should have been expected of them is the appropriate response.
Iagree whith almost all your ideas. Iencouage you to read some of the inspiring books of L.R.Hubbard,the founder of the Sientology.
The aime of Sientolgy are:
" A civilization without insanity, without criminals and without war, where the able can prosper and honest beings can have rights, and where man is free to rise to greater heights, are the aims of Scientology.
First announced to an enturbulated world in 1950, these aims are well within the grasp of our technology.
Nonpolitical in nature, Scientology welcomes any individual of any creed, race or nation.
We seek no revolution. We seek only evolution to higher states of being for the individual and for society.
We are achieving our aims.
After endless millennia of ignorance about himself, his mind and the universe, a breakthrough has been made for man.
Other efforts man has made have been surpassed"
Well done Randy,
I agree entirely, in actuality there is no such this as "too big to fail." Failure at this level simply leaves an undeniably greater devastation and scar.
I need to be reading you a lot more often. Our outlooks are more parallel than I'd realized. Thanks for being a beacon in the dark.
Brilliant! Principles and values first ALWAYS. I wrote a movie and could have taken opportunities to learn more about the business, make some connections, etc. But these opportunites involved making films that brought darkness. I'm about bringing light to the world. So I reluctanly turned the opportunities down. Your story of turning down the tobacco co gives me hope. As for Penn State you nailed it! We need to do everything we can to protect our children. Penn State needs new leadership now!
Peace and Blessings Randy!
Being philosophically correct is a nowhere game. Being politically correct is the same. Speaking from the heart, I can say that if I think of these children who were brutalized, I can only be enraged that they were so horribly victimized, that they may take decades to rid themselves of the imprint, the injury. And that some of them may not succeed. That, as with physical injuries, some may be maimed in ways nothing, no belief system, no doctor, no miracle can undo. There's no way out of that fact. And the anger associated with it is a direct representation of the value of what these fiendish acts brutalized. The validity of outrage doesn't change any laws of power or prosperity or. Or. Those who perpetrated these violations don't deserve the waste of our energy by stewing in anger over their sicknesses. They are responsible for themselves. We are responsible for how we allow this to inform and inspire our actions as people united in love and in protection of value and nothing more. That Penn State did what Penn State has been doing all this time is not a shocker. It's appalling, yes. But it's not a surprise. We don't grow into ownership and embodiment of truth overnight. Penn State won't any time soon, if ever, since they stand only for profit. We cannot trust institutions. No matter how long their tradition or how reputable. We can work with them to further our own purposes. We can join with them to further our own causes. But we can never assume that our need for diligence in discernment or our responsibility as the gatekeepers for our children (or anything we nurture) is even slightly lifted by the presence of any institution's reputation or supposed reliability or statement of purpose. We, the parents. We, the neighbors. We, the administrators. We, the co-workers have to assume the buck stops with us. Not with the guy with more clout. Not with the bosses. Not with the lady with the social services degree. Not anywhere but here. With the one living her life, cultivating what she believes in and making sure the fruit of her fields sing of integrity down to the core. Because at the end of the day, association with an institution does not make a person any less vulnerable to exploitation or apathy. It’s up to the individual to raise and keep the standard, to grow up beyond a need for mommy/daddy/institution to parent, rescue, prosecute. It's that simple and that tough.
Because of our own family issues at the moment, I hadn't been following this issue. Your comment When surrounded by institutions people sometimes give their power away ....because people are *relieved* that someone else is taking care of it...
After years of being in an abusive situtation because of fear, fear OF failure of the institutions to help out....we are finally facing the situation. An ex sil abused his daughter....and because of shame and fear she hid it for years....he hadn't been around for 6 years....until months ago, briefly...even then it didn't come out. At that time I depended on an instition to *protect* the kids....how wrong I was. Tried to get help from officials, womens shelters, lawyers, police, child protection....but because I was the mil, not the xwife (who was sucked back in temporarily) NO ONE would help, though the kids themselves begged for help.....because I depended on institutions, any source of power, to help, the gkids and I were let down....finally it was the oldest son, who finally ended the situation, by telling his dad to get out and stay out. Point is, we tried, we begged, every *institution* we knew of (and I have alot of contacts)for help, because I thought that was what they were to do. It finally took 1 child (senior in hs at the time) to stand up and accomplish what no one else would do.
I'm so proud of that kid! The abuse of his sister didn't surface til later and is another story...but one that institutions still have failed us. We reported it, police said it was OLD case,,,(she was 10 or under when it happened) chld protection the 800 # told us the same, old case....I'm so STEAMED right now. She, because of shame and because
she was uncomfortable, and because of fear, didn't let us know....now we are having to force the issue with all the *safety* places that were to protect....arent'.
Yes, it's way past time to take back OUR power from Institutions that tell us what we can and cannot do, that refuse to do anything
because it's difficult and they are too lazy tto do anything about it. We were told it's an old case, this INVOLVES a child....one who was too young and too scared to do anything about it....
So thanks Randy, we DO need to take back oour POWER.
"Evil spreads when good people do nothing" its just to easy to do nothing for a quiet life. Too often we turn a blind eye and let corruption and evil flourish. Just look at the state the world is in!
This whole upsetting episode takes me back to my childhood days, when the boys acted up in school, the whole 4-8 grades were punished by having to stay after school? Where is the fairness?
I have overcome many obstacles and continue to try to improve my lot in life.
Growing and learning is an everyday challenge, and we will never reach perfection, although it is fun trying!!1 I remain positive about negatives, and always look for the good that comes out of what appears to be a very difficult situation. Good will come from this upsetting episode!!
Randy, I didn’t know anything about this matter before. I live in Holland, Europe and this news is not spreading to Europe I think….until now of course.
I hear about horrible cases like this in Europe sometimes. Incredible how ‘sick’ some people are in this world and how other people are ‘covering things up’ for those ‘sick’ people.
Thank you for opening this topic and making more people think this true.
Thank you for being the truth teller. We have a saying that the truth teller has less friends, but the truth had to be sayed - even it does not rise your value with people surrounded you. And that truth should never be a hammer for blaiming/ jundgening.
Even it is very sick to read these things you wrote, I´m giving you credit as blogger. It is very good that we rise wearness in these evil acts, I´m totally behind your words and thoughts.
All the best, Best Regards
Right on, Randy. buty how about the thousands of talented high school students who are recruited every year with scholarships.perks etc.to work for the athletic beast,spend their college years playing football and entertaining the masses and bringing in the cash. Finally graduate with a worthless degree and go on unemployment because the were not recruited by the "Pros".
I have done exactly what you write about and I stand by it even though it has costed me financially and in many other ways. The area I live in is a similar 'machine' as Penn State. Actually, one influencial person here played football at Penn State and to this day, some 30 years later, still hates Joe Paterno yet out pictures abuse in many ways. I AM a majority of one standing up for youth and giving the best I have from my heart and experience to allow them to see, out picture the truth of their own beingness, not the 'program' that surrounds them. I sleep well at night and when one doesn't conform to the machines way, it takes strong spiritual strength and principles to tread the path. Light does always win and that is where one must always keep their sights even though the journey can prove trying. I appreciate your viewpoints and the reminder to always stand for what is true within me and allow it to be what is without me. The Penn State situation is a very loud expression of what is going on all around us and give us all an opportunity to take a stand, as you said, not from judgement but from principle and live loud and proud in principle. Many blessings to you and all.
Hi Randy and All
Its time to end the man eat man world of thinking tramping on any one who gets in the way of personal interest . No man is above the law wether man made law or universal law. Im from the uk and the last few months there has been unrest here , our priminister said there was a sickness in society blaming the youths in hoodies who were rioting . Well yes Randy there is a sickness in society and it starts right at the top if the men in suits show lack of morals and principles and overide abuse of innocent for the sake of a monopoly of self interest what message is this sending out to the world . It is an honour to be in service .and the people who go into these Institutions wether it be government , police , universities they forget why they first went into the role they chose , each one im sure went in to make a difference but then they get consumed by self interest and forget about the whole . Being in service is an honour it is a responsibility and the power generated can be life changing for all not just the minority . I feel these issues coming to light will help people question themselves in where they stand , taking back their power to change their world and taking responsibilty for their own actions . Just stop and think before you take any action is this going to benefit just me and my family or will it help me and the world around me generating life changing opportunities and great fulfilment and yes it takes courage and strength to stand up and be counted but you will be filled with the power of spirit. May all who are in a position of service be blessed to do the right thing thank you MX
You make some very good points and I agree with you on pretty much everything except the cancellation of the football game. I'll try and be brief with my explanation.
My initial thought was why punish the football players who have not done anything? I understand your thinking on sending a clear cut message that football revenue no longer rules the roost and I couldn't agree with you more, but cancelling the game or season will hurt innocent kids who had no part of the scandal.
After thinking on it for a few minutes I came up with an idea. They still play, but the school must forfeit all revenue generated for that one game or a whole season. They could give money to the victims and to charities that deal with abuse victims.
Do the right thing. 4 words, 1 solution to this situation. Do the right thing. From the administration, all the way down. If they choose to do the right thing, games get cancelled, because sending a statement is what matters, and if sending a statement like that raises awareness of the issue of child molestation, then the right thing is to send a clear and loud statement, embracing the fear that comes with making a clear and definite statement.
Children were anally raped. If the people running the administration were anally raped as children, maybe they would have a different viewpoint. If they were anally raped now, maybe a different viewpoint, and would do the right thing without hesitation. Compassion does that, it enlightens you, makes you realize that feeling another's suffering is the quickest way to connect with the person, and realize that doing the right thing, is what needs to be done.
Really, dwell on that, the horror of the acts, for a moment. Then, take the next step. Sometimes the horror-dwelling is the only feeling that causes people to move into action, actions which help to spread awareness, so-called "drastic" actions, like cancelling games, or levying penalties, or whatever.
It reminds me of the Dalai Lama's suggested meditation on compassion, where he advises visualizing yourself as a lamb, going to a slaughter-house. The terror, the fear, the desperate desire to get away, and all this mixed together. It brings you to a dark place, but it makes you much more compassionate, and sensitive to the plights of your fellow sentient beings. Go to the horror, feel it, and do the right thing.
The legal system will sort it out. But the university needs to do the right thing, to raise awareness. Not to punish, but to give children who are being molested now, hope. To catch predators who need to deal with their own karmic nightmare.
This issue is not over. It is significant that Penn State lost the game. Penn State broke faith with the people.
It is not enough to agree with Randy but to live by priciples and speak up, stand up for what is wrong with us.
Sandusky may have suffered the same behavior as a child as someone pointed out, but Sandusky is an an adult who DECIDED, consciously to perpetrate the same behavior on underpriviledged children as Randy's original post pointed out.
However we speak or stand for the defenseless, our committment to us and to humanity has to defend, speak up for and defend those who are helpless.
Prinicples. Right word. Live by them and let them guide us to right action.
By no means am I making excuses for Sandusky, however, what if he was raped and abused as a child and no one protected him? This is often the case with pedophiles.
Joe that doesn't excuse his actions, especially now he is an adult and was in a position of power. If he was abused, somewhere in his education there was teaching right from wrong. If the system is accountable, then it is time the system was audited.