As I was reading the stories about the “whistle blowing” for this week, it kind of reminded me of growing up, snitching. I can remember getting into fights with my brother (who is 6 years older and much bigger) and antagonizing him until he would eventually throw something at me, hit me, or do something else that I felt I didn’t deserve. At this point I would run to my mother and briefly describe (in most likely an annoying yelling tone) what had happened. Example, “MOM DAN HIT ME.” And then she would yell at my brother for hitting me, the outcome I had hoped for. However, every once in a while I would catch my brother doing something he shouldn’t have been doing, like playing a video game when he was supposed to be working. I would run to my mother again, “MOM Dan’s playing Mario Cart and he’s not supposed to be!” This would get my brother yelled at, which was the goal, but then I would get in trouble too for being a tattle tale. I know I sound like a little punk so far in this blog, but that’s probably an accurate representation of me as a little kid. Likewise, at school a snitch was about the worst thing you could be as a kid. Nobody liked the teachers pet that always told on you for doing something you weren’t supposed to. Even if you weren’t the one being told on, you still knew that you better not hang out with that kid because he’s a snitch. I remember one time in kindergarten I called the principal of my school Miss Piggy to a “friend” of mine. My friend raised her hand, and told on me… I’m still a little bitter about this.
So this brings me to the whistle blowers in the readings for this week. After thinking of the negative connotation that normally comes with “telling on” or “snitching on” it made me have even more respect for the whistle blowers of this weeks readings. These people decided that they were okay with jeopardizing relationships that they had with collegues because it was the right thing to do.
Thinking about these times I was scolded for being a tattle tale and the playground social dynamics of my kindergarten days also made me wonder if there isn’t something wrong with teaching kids that it’s not okay to tell on someone. I mean it’s kind of a confusing message, tell on others when you are little and it’s a bad thing, tell on coworkers and peers when you grow up and it’s the right thing. What do you guys thing?