Dear Penn State-

I’m not a football-aholic.   I’m not from Pennsylvania.  I live next door in Scarlet and Grey country.  I am just  a regular every day any body.

If you teach at Penn State, or attend Penn State, or love Penn State-I understand.  You are being held accountable in some manner for something you didn’t do.

I just want you to know that I am glad Penn State the “institution” has to pay the price (so to speak) for something that the institution and it’s leaders should have done differently.   It’s the institution, and the individuals in roles of authority, who should have/could have done things differently to stop the harm that was being done to young children.

That being said.   I’m sorry that you have to now pay that price.  I’m sorry, but very hopeful.   Hopeful in an almost idealistic and possibly unrealistic way.  I’m hoping you can be better than you ever were, in a totally different way.  I hope that you have leaders in place now, teachers and instructors, and students as well-who want to create the kind of school that all schools should be.  A place of learning.  A place of development.  A safe place.

I think you have an opportunity to take a terrible situation and create a new mecca for academia.  I hope you take the lead in focusing on, and returning to, what education is about.   I hope you stand up and tell the world your school is not about football.  Your school wants to learn from this, teach about this, and be all that a place of learning should be about: the students and their desire to learn.  I hope your school becomes an institution of compassion, outreach, education and humanity.   I’m sure it already has these things in it’s foundation.   We just didn’t hear about it as much as we did (or have recently) about  football.

No matter what the impact is on football, I really don’ t think football should be the issue.  If the football program suffers, so be it.  Yes that’s going to impact students who attend Penn State because of football, to play it or watch it.   I have seen and been on the edge of the football culture most of my life.  And I kind of shudder saying that.  Football?  Is a culture?  What’s wrong with us?

Football is nothing.

Sorry, but it is nothing.

A child, a child is something.  A child should be valued and a cherished part of our culture.  A child is our culture.

I feel sympathy for the people impacted by what has happened.  Because it sure has had a rippling effect/affect.  I don’t feel bad that football has suffered.  Football may be fun, it may have a role in many people’s lives, but it should not be valued above anyone’s life.   Football should not define a man.  A man’s actions towards others  is what should define him.   I don’t recall adoring any man for the impact he has had on the football field.  I do recall, past and current, men who I adore for the things they did in life.  Were some great football players and coaches great men?  Of course.  But not because they played football, because they did honorable things with their lives.   Their behaviors, their outreach to others, their compassion, their action to help others, or build communities, their devotion to family and friends, their humanity-these things define a man.  At least, to me.

I do feel bad for the community who has to deal with the impact.   But not nearly as bad as I feel for the children who suffered at the hands of a monster.

Penn State, I look forward to you moving ahead.   I anticipate great things from great people.   I hope to see the young students of Penn State hold their heads up, step forward and out of  this aftermath of change and shake up to build their school and community back to a powerhouse.    A powerhouse of education.  A leader in learning about and protecting children.  I look for great changes that may make other institutions step back and say hey, we need to get our priorities straight.  We want to help in the development of great people.  And it might not involve a game.

I watch you Penn State.  I watch for great things from wonderful people.

Peace and God Speed in your healing.