Putting Men on Pedestals

Written By: Kim - Nov• 11•11

This week’s headlines have rocked the college football world. News that the Penn State knowingly harbored and did not report a pedophile in their midst has everyone calling for justice. The graduate assistant, who is now an assistant coach for the university, has had threats made against him. First Head Coach Joe Paterno was retiring at the end of the season, now the board of trustees has fired him. Too little, too late Penn State.

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Just like the Catholic Church’s priest abuse scandal, Penn State turned a blind eye. Officials worried more about endowments, football records, and the winningest coach in college football’s legacy. Shame on them. The Catholic Church did not defrock, excommunicate nor report knowing pedophiles to the police. They simply moved these priests to parishes where there were no children. This is not only illegal, it is immoral. You do not touch children in a sexual way. Ever. If you do and someone knows about it, you are under an ethical and moral obligation to tell authorities. I do not care who they are; how much good they’ve done nor how successful they are; you tell. I do not care if your state law says you do not have to report it to the police. Do it anyway. It’s that simply. Really.

The two scandals have a familiar, but destructive, ring: “Surely this could not be. I know this person. I’ve been in his house, blah, blah, blah. What will this do to our organization?” Dumb ass justification because look what it’s done after the fact. You are no longer a trusted organization. Your reputation is in tatters. The press is on your doorstep. You should have been proactive when you had the chance instead of reactive after the news story broke. You should have fired everyone involved. You should have reported it. It’s that simply. Really.

When you put men, or women, on pedestals you ignore the facts. People are human and sin; sometimes in a big way. When you begin to believe that someone is perfect and put them on pedestals because they are your priest, Boy Scout leader or head coach, their fall from grace will be hard. Do not tamp down your ethos. Do not ignore the warning signs that are there. Do not fall prey to preserving the institution instead of seeking justice. Just as a pedophile is judged by God, so will you be for your inaction. Is that what you want discuss as you stand before your maker? While I am sure the the Penn State graduate assistant was in shock, if the school did not report this to the authorities, he should have. He should have stopped the rape as it occurred. It’s that simple. Really.

My Catholicism teaches me to hate the sin but love the sinner. I get it. But it, nor the Bible, does not say to turn a blind eye to pedophilia. Some of you will wonder why I am still Catholic. My relationship is with God, not my priest nor the institution. But I do not care who you are or what your standing is in the community. The buck stops with me if you have knowingly harmed someone. You should face charges and be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

It’s that simple. Really.

Teen Career Choice and Failure Breeds Success

Written By: Kim - Oct• 16•11

I recently had a conversation with several girlfriends about our kids. Interim reports were out that day from school. While some of us were elated that our children were applying themselves and bringing home good grades, others were distraught. The conversation then moved to a friend who’s high school junior doesn’t know what she wants to do. The Mom was worried because the two younger children that followed already had career plans. I wish I would have mentioned my story to her.

It’s been a long time since I decided I wanted to be a doctor. At the tender age of 12, I knew I wanted to be a pediatrician. I loved kids but hated math, science and biology: core courses required for doctors. Even in high school, these subjects were ones I constantly struggled with. If I brought home a B, I considered it success.

I continued on my chosen career path because this had been my dream since I was 12. Why would I change it? The dream lasted until the first semester of college, where I took calculus 1, biology 101 and English 101. The only class I passed, even with a tutor, was English. In my defense, my tutor was a guy I had a crush on since sixth grade. I should have know it would not end well for me. But this was a turning point in my life. I just didn’t know it yet.

Let me repeat that: The kid who wanted to be a doctor since she was 12 did not pass her freshman courses required for a premed major. What now?

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I moved on to something I thought I could handle since I was working part-time retail: business. Have you ever sat through an accounting class? Ick. Not for me.

The fall of my sophomore year, I took a speech communications class. My rudder came in the form of my professor who said I excelled in his class and should consider a journalism major. I graduated with a double major in journalism and public relations. I then went on, six years later, to get a master’s in publications design. Publishing was my career path and I don’t regret it.

If I had listened to my Mother, I would have been a prelaw major. She said I should be a lawyer since I loved to argue so much. She never would live long enough to see me work with 29,000 corporate lawyers, most of whom do not love to argue. Even the law firm litigators I speak with get tired of the circus wheel and move in-house. There is just too much stress in always being on and geared up for a fight.

So why, as parents, are we so worried about our teenager’s career choice? They haven’t even had a part-time job yet, but we focus so much on what they will do long term. Many people major in something, get their first after-college job and realize they hate what they do. They adjust and figure out how to use their degree in a new way. They network. They go to graduate school to pursue something else. They find their passion through experience.

The type A in me has a tough time not obsessing over my children’s career choices.

The Mom in me wants them to experience different jobs, internships and workplaces so they can find their passion.

The former teenager in me remembers three majors in college and it all turned out ok.