The thin line between right and wrong

Ken Morse

There are civil rights, the Bill of Rights and The Price is Right. You’ve got the wrong side of town, two wrongs don’t make a right and what’s wrong with you. Jokes aside, the line between right and wrong is usually a thin one.

We’ve all ended up on both sides of the issue of right and wrong in our lives. Fortunately those instances, for the most part, do not define who we are as people.

No one is exempt from being right or wrong, as nobody is perfect.

Webster Dictionary defines wrong as not in accordance to what is morally right, deviant from truth or not correct in action. It defines right as being in accordance to what is good or appropriate, conformant to facts, or correct in judgment.

Over the last few years many residents have taken sides on issues involving the Naugatuck High football program and now-former coach Rob Plasky. Some have made judgments of people they’ve never met. Human nature has a way of making us all experts at one time or another, including my opinions in this column.

Recently Plasky apparently made a wrong choice and has paid a steep price, losing the job that he cherished and served with a passion.

But does a wrong choice nullify the identity of a person? Does it make him less than what he is? Many people in our lives have made wrong choices but we still hold them in high regard. One bad choice doesn’t necessarily define who they are or what they have become.

We toss around those a-leopard-doesn’t-change-his-spots, the-apple-doesn’t-fall-far-from-the-tree types of statements. But what do we really mean when we attach these less-than-flattering characterizations to people we don’t know?

Are we all experts in sociology, qualified and capable of analyzing each person’s true character? I think not. When something out of the ordinary happens we tend to react first in shock, then disappointment, then anger.

Sometimes we begin to feel compassion even if we have a lie-in-the-bed-you’ve-made attitude.

Here are the facts, as far as I can tell. Rob Plasky served his position at Naugy with fire, determination, hard work, dedication and passion. It was no secret that he was outspoken, arrogant, testy and combative. But guess what? All of those attributes are at least somewhat in line with every coach that ever paced the sidelines.

There are so many questions. How did this situation happen? Why would he jeopardize his coaching career? How could this have been handled differently? Soon we will have answers.

But the true question is this: What motivated Plasky to spend countless time and effort in a job for which he was routinely criticized? That answer requires one word.

Love.

Love for the game, his players, his alma mater, the borough of Naugatuck, his family, his friends and his colleagues.

We are at a critical point in the Naugatuck. We are presented with an unfortunate situation. But it goes way beyond whether Rob Plasky was right or wrong in his actions. It begins with how you will deal with being the judge and jury.

Ken Morse is a contributing writer for the Citizen’s News.