Happy Valley isn’t so happy this morning. As a society, we will all look in with very few facts at our disposal and make judgments. I am writing as one who exercised poor decisions as a senior leader that ultimately led to my own dismissal and trying to process a possible scenario for this situation. After my own failure, I remember saying, it is rare for anyone to confess much of anything without being caught. It is human nature to know when we have violated some value and it is human nature to attempt to minimize the fallout from that failure. Often it isn’t till the noose is tightening that people get honest and then still will do their best not to reveal more than is necessary. Everyone reading this and everyone not reading this does the same thing, it is in our DNA as fallen human beings.
So when a scandal breaks we watch like voyeurs, we chew up and spit out other people’s lives as if somehow we are different, we are better, “I would never do such a thing.” To which I say, bull! You and I are all guilty of the same kind of behaviors. Joe P was CYA when he didn’t press for resolution way back when the situation happened. Sandusky was CYA when he developed some non profit to help kids, maybe as a form of penance. Now the Penn State Board of Trustess is doing the same thing by the firings of Joe P and the college president. It is a grander, more public demonstration of CYA. They have known for months there has been an investigation but it is only when the public scrutiny became so public that they pulled the trigger. It isn’t all of a sudden now they are the heroes riding in on white horses to take care of the trash, it is look at all this attention, we have to do something or our butts are on the line every decision being made today is CYA!
All which leads me to say with a calm voice, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. There is none righteous, no not one.” “Oh wretched man that I am, who will deliver me from this??” This is why Jesus Christ died, because we are all made of the same stuff and without someone to pay for our junk, we are all without hope! We are all without hope.
I’m sad this morning. Sad, mostly for the young men and their families who were abused. Sad for a man who gave his whole life to something and because of CYA many years ago now gets a less than stellar exit. I’m sad for a school that I’ve loved for a long time who will be blemished for years to come because of CYA at many levels. I’m sad because I live in a country where at every level of government and business CYA behaviors mean there will be tons more scandals exposed over the years. I’m sad because within me is the same ability to CYA when I fail and fear placing the outcome in the hands of a raveneous public.