Teach the Children Well

Posted: November 12, 2014 in Kids
Tags: ,

I am an Adrian Peterson fan. That’s not entirely popular at the moment as his is certainly a flawed human being and has much to straighten out in his existence. Still, I admire him. Here’s why. It is not only that he is one of the top running backs in the history of the National Football League nor because he plays for my lifetime-home-team but that he is possibly the toughest to ever pound the gridiron. Each time facing adversity Peterson rises to the challenge with focus and determination. Case in point: after shredding his knee at the end of the 2011 his career may well have ended. Conversely, while expectations for 2012 diminished he carried his team to the playoffs in one of the most outstanding seasons in history. That’s toughness, both physical and mental.16846_323468214615_5551878_n

Now he faces another strange challenge. He offered plea of no-contest to child abuse charges after he admittedly disciplined his son with a switch. Excessive. Brutal. Picture documentation was disturbing showing welts and bruises over the boy’s body. Whether he plays again is in the hands of league officials and this storied career may end, due not to injury or age but behavior. Peterson declares all along he disciplines his children, (several children by several women), only as he himself was disciplined.

This, too, is disturbing and raises questions for me regarding our celebrity crazed society. We love our stars, are fascinated by their rise and fall, and hang on their words and actions. Adrian Peterson has some serious issues; he needs help. Public outcry is for punishment and I agree such behavior should not go without consequence. I am also one to say it is not enough. He may never play football again but is a young man with a long life before him. If the NFL offers only consequence without help for a troubled human being they should only feel shame. This man needs help to understand it is not right to beat a child, with switch or hand or paddle. He needs guidance to figure out bringing children into this world through several mothers while daddy goes his merry-screwing-way is unconscionable.  The NFL, all other sports organizations—pro and amateur—indeed, all humanity must take off the kid gloves to both deliver consequence and helpful teaching. I’ll be fine if Peterson is reinstated, but only if the guidance is provided that he may grow into the good man he’s shown to be on the football field.

After all, Peterson learned an unacceptable behavior from his father. It must not continue. The children of America are watching. What will we teach the next generation?

“Let the little children come to me; do not stop them, for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.”—Jesus, Mark 10:14

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