Honor and Decency

I don’t watch news on TV.  I know, weird, considering how much I love television.  I don’t watch because I have two small children at home who I would like to remain innocent of the big bad world for just a bit longer.  It will be soon enough when my big boy will have to read the paper and do presentations on the current events of the world.  Too, because I am a complete NPR junkie.  Radio was my outlet to the world as my second boy could only nap in the car when he was little.  I would spend a good hour each morning in the car.  10am naptime and it was me and Brian Lehrer (actually made it on his show one time!).

My mornings start with WNYC/NPR.  Radio is kind of like reading a book.  You create the images as you hear the stories unfold.  Your heart races as you hear protesters/gunfights/crowds/a child’s voice and you stop whatever you are chopping just to hear the end of a great tale.  It has been interesting to hear about Occupy Wall Street without images.  And it has been heartwrenching to listen to the chaos unfold at Penn State.

There is a certain retraumatization when you hear of a child who was abused.  My breath is short just thinking about what might have happened, who might have seen what and I am struck by the absence of the voices of the children, now grown and reliving this nightmare.  I am hoping and wishing that their voices get heard and people believe their truth.  I have had so many children, now adults, who come to counseling for the mere wish to be believed, listened to, honored.

Honor.  I am particularly struck by the use of this word, honor, to describe a beloved sports coach and an athletic institution.  Not a sports fanatic in any way, I am perplexed at the use of such a magnanimous word to describe a man who tells boys what to do with a ball.

This morning, and every Wednesday morning, Frank Deford, a well know sports commentator, had a great three minute piece.  It is the only bit of sports commentary I listen to with enjoyment.  He used the word “decency” and it struck me that with all the lights shining on the poor grown men who are now finally being challenged about the decisions they made as human beings, that perhaps we should not be thinking about tarnished honor but human decency.

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