Systems Again

If you have not watched the movie Spotlight or if it has been a while or if you did not really pay attention it is worth seeing right now. It is on Netflix now and I’m not sure for how much longer.

It is the devastating story of how the Catholic Church covered up years of predatory sexual abuse committed by priests and others.


The true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese, shaking the entire Catholic Church to its core.

Now I’ve watched this movie several times over the past few months to study great writing and to think about how systems work and why we need to know more about them. How does a system like the Catholic Church allow this to happen and let it go on for years? How did it not protect thousands of victims? It wasn’t just in Boston, it was discovered to be a global problem. Wherever the Catholic Church was it most likely had priests who were sexual predators. In the end you realize the system enabled it. The Catholic Church covered it up and then moved the offending priests to other positions where they abused all over again.

The same thing has happened in the Boy Scouts. There are over 82,000 sexual abuse claims against the Boy Scouts of America. Keep it quiet and cover it up.

Everyone is a part of many systems to varying degrees. It is important to identify the systems we are a part of and look critically at those systems. Are they good or bad? What is the history of the system? Systems influence our daily life and sometimes they make our lives easier and sometimes they make our lives more difficult. Systems which benefit me may put others at a disadvantage or do outright harm to them. This is where the systems break down.

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