Feb 142002
Authors: scott wilkinson

I have a confession to make: I read the Rocky Mountain News.

I mostly read it for the sports coverage and the national news – in my opinion, the News does a better job than the Coloradoan at a lower price.

As I was perusing through the News sports section yesterday, I saw a story that caught my eye. According to the story, written by News Staff Writer Randy Holtz, Adam Wade, a starting linebacker for our very own CSU Rams, was charged with third-degree assault and disorderly conduct for an incident in a dormitory last Thursday.

The article states that Wade was allegedly involved in a fight with another CSU student in Westfall Hall.

The reason the article caught my eye was I know another student who was allegedly involved in a fight in Westfall Hall on the same day. That student allegedly sustained a broken nose, a mild concussion and six stitches.

In the course of doing my due diligence as a reporter/columnist, I called both Mr. Wade and the other student involved, in an attempt to learn some more about the situation surrounding the alleged incident.

As often happens at times like these, accounts of the event differed depending on who I talked to. Mr. Wade said that the alleged incident was the result of numerous encounters with the individual in question, during which the individual allegedly acted in a racist and resentful manner, allegedly using racial slurs toward Mr. Wade.

While I imagine no one but the parties involved will ever know exactly what allegedly went down in Westfall that night, I bring it up because it provides a timely example of an issue that needs to be raised.

What constitutes good reason for fighting? For that matter, is there ever a good reason?

It seems to me that today’s society isn’t that one that I grew up learning about.

I learned growing up that being “a man” meant being more mature. In those terms, the “manly” thing would be to walk away from an individual who was being verbally abusive. The “manly” thing would be to not bring yourself down to their level.

I grew up learning that being a man meant treating people with respect, taking responsibility for your actions – not blaming others. Being a man meant sticking up for what you believed in. Being a man meant respecting women, opening doors and walking next to the curb. Being a man meant being a gentleman.

It seems in today’s society we lost track of the “gentle” that is supposed to go with “man.”

Now, being a man means being able to whoop everybody’s ass -even if it takes you and your six buddies to do it. A “man” is now measured by how much he can drink without killing himself, not how well he knows his limits. Maturity and all the mental aspects of being a man seem to have disappeared from the picture.

It seems like today’s definition of “man” is someone with something to prove. Problem is, most people out there pushing people around, acting tough and trying to be “big men” are really just showing the rest of us what children they still are inside.

Call me old-fashioned, but in my eyes, the bigger man is the one who fights only as a last and unavoidable resort. It takes a lot bigger man to harness his emotions and walk away from a situation than it takes to give in to those emotions and explode.

If today’s man is the one that fights at the drop of a hat, maybe the next time the hat drops, more of us should be proud to strap on a skirt and heels and strut our stuff down the sidewalk.

Scott Wilkinson is a senior majoring in civil engineering.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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