Equanimity My Ass

Wall near Beaver Stadium

Image via Wikipedia

According to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition, the word equanimity means ‘the quality of remaining calm and even-tempered’. In Zen terms it’s a goal we strive for. But sometimes I don’t want anything close to calm and even-tempered. This is one of ‘my’ times.

The president of The Penn State University had a series of meetings with alumni to discuss the unfolding sex scandal surrounding former coach Gerry Sandusky. Regardless of the intent he was clearly practicing the art of ‘damage control.’

President Harrison was quoted:

“It grieves me when I hear people say ‘the-Penn-State-scandal.’  This is not Penn State. This is ‘the Sandusky scandal.’ We’re not going to let what one individual did destroy the reputation of this university.”


The child abuse scandal in the Catholic church, politicians caught in lies, and various nefarious acts of government…  When exposed, the common knee jerk reaction appears to be an attempt to ‘spin’ the situation.  The purpose of the spin does not seem to be to get at the truth but obscure and undermine all facts.  To protect…. what? Facts don’t see the light of day.

Genkaku Fisher Roshi says it well and calls these phenomena the “Bring the matter to light….then paper it over”.

I have many questions and am infuriated that I even have to ask: why did his happen, how did it happen, who was involved?  What are all the facts, what comprehensive actions are going to be taken, and are all the people involved going to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law where appropriate?

When things like this occur, isn’t this the responsibility of a President, a Pope, Elected Officials to investigate the matter fully and thoroughly? Isn’t ‘truth’ part of the job that goes along with big salaries, accolades when the football team does well, alumni donations, accountability, and responsibility to the greater world community?

Without responsibility we become cynical humans learning how to paper over and spin the facts. It becomes the way of the world.

 Adam Fischer Roshi summed it up best by offering the following advice. “Good, bad or indifferent—don’t be afraid of the truth. What truth? Your truth. Running scared—donning the robes of virtue—is no way to lead a peaceful life. It’s a terrible habit, however popular.”

Equanimity has a time and place but at the moment I’m not there. I’m angry and I want the world to know about it.


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