Penn State graduate Thomas L. Day’s column “Penn State, my final loss of faith” reads like a cry for young people to take charge of a troubled nation. According to Day, members of his parents’ generation “have had their time to lead.”
“Time’s up. I’m tired of waiting for them to live up to obligations,” he said.
During a Washington Post live Q&A Monday, many readers at once both appreciated Day’s outrage and challenged his focus on the older generation:
. . . I am baffled by why you are fed up with people of a certain age and strangely proud of people who are your age. . . . Blaming everything on “them” — a racial group, a gender, an age group — is such a cheap way to deflect responsibility. Why not admit that people of all ages at Penn State just failed?
Day made clear that he had respect for not only his own parents but a generation that “stood up and demanded that African Americans be given equal right as citizens.” Day did not intend to “blame an entire generation” but reiterated his disappointment in national and local leaders.
Other readers wanted to know more about Day’s connection with Penn State and the Second Mile foundation. One reader asked about how Penn State can regain public trust. Day answered:
Penn State is a good community. It’s a good school, and in spite of the spectacle of last Wednesday, its students are among the brightest young folks you’ll meet. I want new leaders who will make sure the rest of the world knows the Penn State I know.
But a new head coach and president are only the beginning for Day. The real key, he says, is introspection: “I am becoming a bit more introspective about my near-obsession with this team. These guys are 18-22 years old. They aren’t getting paid anything near what the market demands for their services. They are, in many ways, kids. Why is a grown man logging onto Scout.com to see where a 17-year-old is going to college? I think this story should cause all college football fans to take a step back, myself included.”
Here are a few more examples of what readers asked Day:
As someone who likes to think of themselves as an emerging leader, what do you recommend about how we can assert ourselves more into the leadership conversation? Read the answer.
Do you see anything that can be done . . . that could possibly restore confidence, or at least SOME confidence, in the previous generation? Read the answer.