Rules are Rules

Rules are absolute, except when they are meant to should be bent, broken or changed.  I grow weary of hearing people in authority say they can't change a rule.  It's not that they can't change it, it's they choose not to.

Here's a perfect example.  The gist of the linked article talks about a young man from Iowa, who won a cross country race, but then went back to help another young man that was "turning white and holding his chest 20 meters away from the finish line".  Did the Iowa High School Athletic Association laud this young man for going back to help someone that could have been having a serious health issue?  Did they hold him up as someone to emulate?  No, they didn't.  They stripped him of his first place finish.  The finish he EARNED.  No one helped him across the finish line, he helped someone else after many runners ran past & didn't even offer to find help.

The IHSAA could have ruled to allow this young man to keep his first place finish, but chose not to, and you know what, it makes me sick.
It makes me sick that:

  • There is someone who put others above himself and is punished for it.  The whole "do unto others" thing is a pretty good way to live your life.  
  • In the spirit of good sportsmanship this young man is stripped of what he rightfully earned.  I could understand taking the win away if someone had helped him, but no one did.
  • All the runners that ran past weren't reprimanded for  at least finding someone to help the young man having trouble.
I have seen other situations where rules could be bent or even changed to help someone that needed it, but just like in this case, those in authority chose to do nothing.  When leaders don't stand up for what is right then it's time to choose new leaders.  I love what the Declaration of Independence says: "But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security".  It shouldn't matter if it's the United States government or the governing body of high school athletics, doing the right thing is never a mistake.  

I love the motto of one of the schools my children went to:  "We do the right thing, because it's the right thing to do".  I wish the members of the IHSAA would learn this.  I know some others that could benefit from learning this as well, but since I'm just a stay-at-home mom blogger, what do I know?  But I do know this,  "People of character do the right thing even if no one is looking.  People of character do the right thing even if it costs more than they want to pay.  People of character do the right thing even if no one else does, not because they think it will change the world, but because they refuse to be changed by the world". (Michael Josephson)

Celebrating life & people who do the right thing no matter the cost!


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