If You Don’t Do Anything, Then You Didn’t Do Enough Yourself

All of you already know about a certain story over the weekend.  I’m not going to mention because all of you have an opinion of it. 

Now, with that said, let me ask all of you a question.  While you have been forming opinion about the person in question, have you bothered to ask yourself this: 

  • what could I learn from this?
  • what can I do if I see this happen?
  • how can I get involved so that I can make a difference? 

That’s not exactly what I asked Adam Wilson from the Altoona Herald, but that’s pretty much what I asked. 

We spend so much damn time talking about “what could have been done”, and not “what can we do right now”, we forgot the real lesson in this story:  if you don’t want it to happen again, get off of your ass and make a difference. 

It’s pointless to use the “what could have been done” excuse.  It happenIt’s doneYou can’t change it.  You’re not Superman, where you can fly in reverse to save Lois Lane and stop a comet.  That’s fiction.

“But, but, he could have…” 

But nothing.  It’s over.  You learn from history and mistakes and you work towards being proactive down the road.  Trying to relive the past and what you could have done is a waste of time. 

Stop it. 

If you are really passionate about stopping physical and sexual violence and abuse against children, stop talking, and sign up at a local shelter that provide services to children, and to women.  In 2010, the Iowa Department of Human Services had 32,841 cases on file of child abuse and neglect.  20,246 were unconfirmed cases, 2,687 were confirmed, while 9,908 were founded cases of abuse. 

You want to know the sad part?  For every case worker that gets hired, at least 3 of them quit, after being burned out, lack, little, or no resources, no help with the work load, and not enough support, from lawmakers to taxpayers. 

Those taxpayers are us, folks. 

If we care so much about the kids, then why do we become skittish when a child does need our help and when the child doesn’t get it, then we look to blame someone else?  You could have done something, but you didn’t.  It makes you as guilty as the person being discussed over the last 72 hours. 

How does that feel? 

But I doubt many of you will.  You love to talk and pontificate about what someone else should have done, but you expect others to do something that you don’t want to do your damn self.  That’s what I’m pissed off about:  all of you trying to be a moral compass.  Shut up and get involved.

Most of you didn’t care about what goes on in our own backyard, until I gave you the stats a few paragraphs ago.  Some of you have suspected or witnessed possible child abuse.  And yet, like the person in the center of the national story, you turned a blind eye as well. 

In fact, when it comes to abuse towards women and children, all of us have turned a blind eye.  Don’t even lie, especially those who follow sports.  As long as the athlete or the coach wins, you turn a blind eye to the player slapping his GF around at the Ped Mall, or the coach lining up rows of cocaine in the basement of his house. 

We’re all hypocrites and to read what some guys have written and tweeted on Saturday and Sunday, I wonder if they would have given that much attention to what goes on in their own backyard. 

I doubt if they did.  Which is why I’m extremely disappointed that they haven’t realized the opportunity they have right in front of them, especially sports writers and bloggers:  turn a horrible negative into a ray of hope by advocating and supporting groups that are dedicated in stopping the culture of human abuse, young and old. 

So, to most of you who seem to have an opinion about “what could have been done” or “it could have stopped”, let me give you some advice.  Stop saying it.  Start asking yourself “what can I do?” 

The first place you should call is Prevent Child Abuse Iowa.  Call, ask about learning more about abuse, educate yourself, educate others, and be an advocate.  If you care about the prevention of abuse towards women and families, call the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence

It’s getting tiresome hearing about what one person could have done.  What are you going to do if you are in a similar situation?  Keep referring back to the one person that didn’t do something?  Or are you going to get up and do something and in turn make a difference? 

Stop being reactive.  Start being pro-active.  Stop whining.  Start doing.

Prevent Child Abuse Iowa: 1-800-CHILDREN (to those on Twitter, give a shout out to @Trillix.  They designed the website for PCA Iowa.)

Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence:  244-8028, email icadv@icadv.org

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