You may remember I was involved in a car crash back in April. Tomorrow I'm likely to need to go to court to testify against the young man who caused the crash.
To be honest, on one hand I hope I'm not required (the Police said they may have enough witnesses). Courts are such shaming places and the guy was really young — we've all done stupid stuff at his age.
If you are, you're very likely to get it wrong.
Organisations that build cultures that require people to do the right thing in regards to culture, gender, sexuality, function (disability) etc, create behaviours governed by fear. People will avoid engagement in order to stay safe, because they'll be scared of getting it wrong.
How outraged the nation has been, apart from female friends who have spoken out in support of them, saying they are just good boys being teenagers.
Watching events unfold around James Parker's arrest, trial and, this week, his sentencing with preventative detention for the sexual violation of 20 boys over many years, I have felt an increasing sense of dis-ease about the whole situation. A tragic series of events have created many needless victims and, I would argue, one of them is Parker himself.
Without excusing his actions in any way whatsoever, nor discounting the impact on the lives of the boys against whom he offended, my view is that Parker's offending and consequential incarceration was the result of some serious systemic and societal failures to recognise, take responsibility for, and intervene in, a number of behaviours that were clearly putting Parker and his victims at risk.
This interview on 3News Firstline with counsellor Peter Milne, who specialises in male sexual abuse, helps confirm for me that a whole set of dynamics occurred that contributed to the events and that, if we continue to ignore them, tragedies like this will happen again and again.
Last Saturday I was working with a group and the word entitlement was uttered a couple of times. As I've written before, I believe no one is entitled to anything. I think that a culture of entitlement is destructive and inhibits an environment of positive change.
The second time I heard the word, I raised it with the group: Entitlement is demanding, it's self-serving and it's disempowering. If you have a sense of entitlement, you are most likely to be left feeling let down, ripped off and disappointed.
Then someone else said this: "Perhaps we are confusing entitlement with worthiness."
Both challenge us, collectively, to consider where individual responsibility ends and systemic responsibility begins.
I've already been anonymously crucified for challenging Tyson's suitability as a South Auckland role model in Facebook.