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How Do We Stop Our Boys From Throwing Stones?

Rock throwing is prevalent in our society! Regardless of the sphere: politics, sporting arenas, reality television or social media, it is easy to cast aspersions and judgement on others. From our Prime Minister, the Wallabies, The Block or Twittersphere, it seems that someone is always willing to tell others how to better live their lives.

Unfortunately the Wallabies were recently beaten by a non-traditional rugby powerhouse, Argentina. More disappointing than the score line, was the negative interaction between supporters and players, post-match. A disgruntled Wallabies fan felt the need to ‘throw stones’ – firing barbs at a Wallabies player regarding his assumed lack of effort and heart. Sadly, the full story of that player’s personal struggles were not known, and an unsavoury incident of player verse spectator erupted. Argentina’s great achievement was overshadowed.

As a Catholic School, it is our duty to form our boys to look beyond elementary judgement and criticism. Open mindedness is encouraged; as boys seek to learn from a range of people, topics and pathways. We will never always agree in life – there is rarely a universal perspective on anything. Commentary on everything from the Canterbury Bulldogs to Serena Williams to Mark Knight are evidence of this.

It seems that there are always critics willing to sink the boot in. Even light-hearted reality shows such as The Block and The Bachelor can inspire vitriol, abuse and condemnation. Humans continue to throw stones. In John’s Gospel, Jesus is present as a lady accused of adultery is set to be stoned to death. In an attempt to set him up for failure, Jesus is challenged by the Temple Priests to “cast the first stone.” Jesus retorts with his powerful statement that encourages us all to reflect on our own choices. ‘Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone!’ The entire crowd disperses, without a single rock thrown in anger, pride or grandstanding. Jesus reminds us that we all have times of fault and weakness in our lives, and to remember this before we condemn or criticise others.

May we always seek to find the best in people, to put aside judgement, and look for #H.O.P.E filled moments in each day.

Matt Warr
Acting Dean of Formation
warrm@atc.qld.edu.au