If you have paid any attention at all to the Larry Nassar sentencing hearing this past week you are sickened to say the least.
Nassar is the former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University doctor that was basically sentenced to life in prison for molesting over 140 young girls for more than the past two decades.
The parallels to the Jerry Sandusky/Penn State molestation case of 2011 are eerily similar. In each case, adults were told something was going on. Children told adults something was going on. Children weren’t believed to the point that no one even bothered to check.
The adults, in both cases, are highly intelligent, highly educated people. They didn’t bother to check. Not one adult had the courage to wonder if there might not be validity to the words of the children.
One could speculate they were afraid to lose their jobs. They were afraid to be wrong. They were afraid to turn on a friend. They were afraid to speak out against someone who might be a superior.
In the Nassar case, one report I watched stated they knew the situation was huge and they were afraid to tackle it because of what it might cost. So, they chose to do nothing.
Fear and courage both have a price.
For over twenty years young girls were molested by Dr. Nassar because no one had the courage to speak up. The price to living in this fear is being paid by dozens of victims and their families. Much like the Penn State case the complete toll won’t be known for quite some time. Certainly Michigan State will be sued and likely lose tens of millions of dollars. This pales in comparison to the cost to the young girls, many now women, and the price they will pay all their lives.
Had just one person had the courage to listen and pursue the stories could they have lost their jobs? Yes, they could have. Even if they had, I contend that price is a lot less expensive than the price of lying in bed at night, every night, wishing you had spoken up and protected these girls.
Often, courage requires us to stand alone. It can be a very scary place to be. However, if we live in fear we usually take someone down with us.
Opportunities to be courageous are in our lives every day. Opportunities to be fearful are in our lives every day.
Which will you choose? Courage or fear?
I encourage you to watch the victim impact statement of Rachel Denhollander. Denhollander was the first to come forward and file charges against Nassar. She is the face of courage. You can watch the 41 minute video here. Consider it a time investment. It will make you angry. It will sicken you. It will make you cry. It will challenge you to lead a more courageous life.
Have a STRONG and COURAGEOUS DAY!