Being our own worst enemy

Published 9:00 am Thursday, September 28, 2017

By Will Collins

I often write about a perfect society in a perfect world, one where everyone supported one another — a world where no finger pointing existed, no racial divide occurred, no useless complaining happened and playing the blame game was unnecessary.

If we could learn to live and let live, so many of the issues we face would simply fade away.

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Employment would be easy to gain. Health care issues would be a thing of the past. Political divide would be stories we would hear from our grandparents.

In this fantasy of a perfect society, everyone who could work would get up each day and put in a good day’s work. They would happily enjoy their positions, work hard to improve and advance based on their skills, then go home to their families and enjoy the fruits of their labor.

Since we don’t live in a perfect society, I guess that allows me to point some fingers, place blame and complain about a few things that prevent us all from living better than we do.

I would happily give up that right if only everyone could do the same in order to bring joy to us all.

The point I’m trying to make stems from the news this week regarding ex-football player Aaron Hernandez who committed suicide in April while serving a life sentence for murder.

Test results showed that he suffered brain injuries (CTE) as many football players sustain.

Now, the family of Hernandez is suing the NFL and the New England Patriots because they feel the results of his CTE obviously came from football.

At the time I am writing this column, it has not been stated that the family blames this for his reckless behavior, possible drug use, committing murder and ultimately taking his own life, but stories are circulating that is where it is headed.

The big problem here, however, is that his off-the-field issues date all the way back to his high school days in Connecticut.

Sadly, he lost his father when he was 16 years old and it appears that is when he started making bad decisions.

These poor decisions continued when he attended the University of Florida, being suspended for drug use and getting in fights at bars. He was even named in a shooting there as well.

Later in his career in the NFL, he was convicted for shooting and killing a man at point blank and you know what happened from there.

The lawsuit now in place will cost a lot of money. Money that will in some fashion lead to taxpayer dollars and will have an impact on the cost of health care.

When doctors must fight legal battles, it has a negative impact on medical costs. The case may eventually be dropped, but not after money has been spent.

When Hernandez was playing football, he was making millions of dollars. Not just a few million, but a lot. Bunches and more bunches.

Outside of his injuries he may have received while playing a sport he chose to play, he could have easily made the decision to seek help for his off-the-field troubles, whether football-related or not.

I do feel bad for the family. I have compassion for his young daughter. And while I feel the lawsuit is unjustified, it would hurt many more people than it would help, even if just a little.

Remember, this is one of just thousands of unjustified cases that will go before the courts in the next year alone.

Let’s stop being our own worst enemy.

As former U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert stated, “Our health care system is the finest in the world, but we still have too many uninsured Americans, too high prices for prescription drugs and too many frivolous lawsuits driving our physicians out of state or out of business.”

Political enthusiast Will Collins is a lifelong resident of Kentucky and has called Winchester home for the past 20 years. He can be reached at