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So what exactly were they thinking?

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Have you ever asked yourself the question "What were they thinking?" I’m considering starting a petition banning the wearing of T-shirts. The idea came to me while I observed a lawn green T-shirt pulled over a rather large belly with undulating ripples. The tension of the shirt sculpted a navel into a space rivalling a hole on a putting green at St. Boniface Golf Course. What were they thinking?


By outlawing T-shirts we reduce the risk of exposing belly button rings, bra straps, cleavage and belly buttons. We could also reduce our exposure to arm pit hair, hairy backs, biceps, pectoral muscles, six pack abs and beer bellies.


The ban would also take care of poor taste and poor choice. It would reduce forums for inappropriate messages and images. The problem with T-shirts is that they can be like your uncle wearing a Speedo while visiting the cottages — it’s a memory you just can’t erase.


If you have followed reports on the conduct of Penn State University officials during the recent sexual abuse scandal, it begs the question: "What was the organization responsible for nurturing, mentoring and educating young people thinking?"


It is impossible for us to think like the officials because we are not them. Rational, moral, ethical thinkers do not condone this abuse and allow it to find sanctuary in their halls.  


By now you may have moved on to the phrase: "If it was me I would have...." Hopefully, you would have done something to stop the abuse and protect the young people involved.


After the sanctions and penalties are levied, the question remains, how do we change this kind of thinking? If you have ever witnessed a troubled teenager or tried to stop abusive behaviour, you will have some insight into the matter. You can’t change thinking, you can only influence it. As a parent, that knowledge hurts.


Penn State is not in our neighbourhood. However, there are kids impacted by the actions or inactions of officials in our neighbourhood. How do we monitor the thinking of these officials and remain vigilant about their actions?


When given half a chance, I love to think. Events like the Penn State scandal trigger "what if" scenarios in my mind. As the child of a single parent, my future could have included the indignation that was Mount Cashel orphanage in Newfoundland. I was spared that fate growing up, by not losing the one lifeline that protected me.


The mood of this forum is normally positive and upbeat. The opening paragraphs is in no way an attempt to deflect the serious nature of the crimes committed and untold damaged caused to people who have suffered at the hands of abusers.


As a human being, I struggled with how to voice my disappointment in the establishment that was suppose to protect young people. As a former college instructor, I understood and at times was overwhelmed, by the power I had over the students. I cannot imagine how someone would abuse that sacred position. What were they thinking?   


Sean Conway is a River Park South-based writer.


Neighbourhood Forum is a readers’ column. If you live in The Lance area and would like to contribute to this column, contact jim.timlick@canstarnews.com.

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