Friday, November 11, 2011

Don't rock the boat

The recent events at Penn State University are tragic to say the least. But it points to a fundamental flaw in American society. This event as well as what has happened to the Catholic church in recent years and the reported scandal involving the returning remains of military personnel all point to one thing. We as a collective group are not supposed to rock the boat.

When you think back at all these events and the people who are involved they all share similar traits. These people are leaders that are in roles of respect. They are highly educated. You don't rise to the ranks of college presidents, priests and bishops and high ranking military officers without many years of higher education. Along with this education are often moral and ethical courses one is required to complete. So, where is the breakdown?

Even in the government ranks there are special "whistle-blower" laws that were needed to protect those who are actually doing the right thing. Even with these laws there is a collective consciousness of don't rock the boat. Several members that reported the scandal in the military were fired from there jobs or relieved of duty. It wasn't until they were protected by these laws they were reinstated.

So what is it that causes this highly educated leadership to turn a blind eye no matter what the crime? It's simply a culture of don't rock the boat. I as a leader like things running the way they are. Therefore I will bring pressure to bear on those who report to me to keep things the way they are. It is simpler this way. No one really gets hurt, of course except you if you rock the boat. You as the underling are expendable.

I understand the genuine fear of those who report crimes and abuses to those in power. Your livelihood is possibly placed in an untenable position. You as an underling can't afford to lose what you have. It is a powerful hammer hovering above you life. But there is no way to change the culture if abuses are not reported. Those who promote a cover-up culture are just as vulnerable as the rest of us. Let their house of cards come crumbling down.

It's time we as individuals challenge abuses and follow through. When you see the outcry, you'll know you did the right thing. We can't condone an "it's not my problem" mantra in the real world, especially when it comes to protecting children. Give me a baseball bat, I'll protect them one way or another.

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