The Sandusky trial and verdict (GUILTY!) got me thinking about the deadly sin of LUST. Now there are hundreds of adjectives and emotions that come to mind when I think of the whole Sandusky mess, but in terms of my “seven deadlies” theme, lust is the one.
I find that words escape me when trying to describe my reaction to what Sandusky did, what he got by with for so many years, what Penn State ignored, what they rationalized, and most significantly, what he did to those poor, vulnerable victims. What altered state of mind allowed Sandusky to think that what he was doing was okay? And in what state of mind did the Penn State administrators who looked the other way not stop to think about the victims.
Back to Lust.
Lust was the deadly sin that was committed, but there were lots of omissions, too. Where was the empathy? What about the awareness, kindness, even chastity? And shame – where was the shame?
From Sandusky’s horrible crimes must eventually come healing. Penn State will certainly need to take a leadership role in that, but so should the other systems which allowed this to happen for so long. And Penn State may be the one getting all the attention these days, but there have been so many others – even in that safest of places, the church. How can we protect our children from the predators that are among us? One way is for all of us to take responsibility for others. We must all be alert to things that just don’t seem right. And we must all speak up for those who can’t – or won’t – speak for themselves. That won’t rid the world of the Sanduskys among us, but it will definitely keep them from exacting the harm that this most evil and famous Sandusky has done.
The bottom line is that our acts and our in-actions have consequences. When we act, or when we fail to act, we must ask ourselves who or what is affected. If we ALWAYS consider the consequences before the act, our decisions will be ones that we can be proud of. And the world will be a much better place.