Thursday, March 10, 2011

No Fault Injury?

No Fault Injury?

Once again, the uproar about serious hockey injuries has erupted. It will continue to do so simply because injuries like Pacioretty received a few nights ago will continue to occur. It may be the result of a brawl, deliberate hits or an “accident” as this one has been termed.

Despite Pacioretty’s inability to play hockey in the near future—may be a lifetime—apparently, no one is to blame. We’re told accidents happen, and should be expected in high speed, hard hitting games. Expect to get injured and suffer the consequences. Survival of the fittest!

But accident or not, why is the one causing the injury absolved from responsibility? In a dangerous game, the expectation is that a player will cause, as well as receive, injury, so why not expect to share in the consequences?

A vehicle “accident” is always paid for the by the causing party, and even the game of hockey itself is fairer than life. Every foul requires a penalty—accident or not. Yet strangely, that principle is considered too vengeful for real injury.

The common complaint of western “justice” is that the punishment rarely fits the crime, even though popular wisdom dictates that an “eye for an eye” or “life for a life” is malicious and vindictive. But of course, that was never the purpose.

The principle of an “eye for an eye” simply ensured the punishment fit the crime and there was no gain for the perpetrator. That was not only a deterrent, it also prohibited escalation, while satisfying the concept of fairness in justice.

Unfortunately, the principle of punishment fitting the crime has been devalued in western culture because wrong doing is considered a character flaw to be corrected, not a vice that requires a penalty. Just consider Canada’s prison system; “Corrections Canada” says it all!

Let’s be honest. It’s selfishness—our current cultural creed—that requires the other guy to take the fall—in Pacioretty’s case, literally and outcome. Yet fairness would dictate that a perpetrator suffer the same game consequences as the injured player.

It seems to me that if the one causing the injury automatically suffered the same loss of hockey as the victim, not only would violence decrease, perhaps the rules of the game itself would change. However, I’m not sure Canada could cope with a kinder, gentler hockey, or even a simple thorough-going fairness.

Monday, March 7, 2011


This week for me, is the passing of an era. The last of my parents’ siblings is being laid to rest. My father’s only brother died within a week of my father’s death back in the ‘90s. My mother had one brother, but seven sisters. The sisters squabbled for most of their lives, mostly over petty jealousies, constantly forging new alliances as their fortunes changed.

Vera was the youngest, only about sixteen years older than me. Although she would occasionally join in the sisterly fracas, she was different for a number of reasons. She was the only one of her siblings not to marry. She battled medical overweight all her life, and surprised us all by living to ninety.

But she was the only sister, except my mother, who retained her Christian faith. Hers was a simple faith. It didn’t require pshyco-babble to define it, nor was she conflicted over finer points of theology. She was simply a sinner saved by the amazing grace of God, enjoying and sharing her faith to the end. Here are words she wanted to be remembered by.

I have had a good life, many, many interesting changes, not always as I had planned. I have been very blessed and look forward now to my call Home, where I shall claim my inheritance which will never perish and which is reserved for those who love Him. Also to be presented to God our Father, to be lead by Jesus to God's throne and hear Christ say, "Father this is Vera for whom I died". Wonderful!

A favourite hymn, and a favourite of mine also, will be sung at her funeral in England on Thursday. Here are immortal words that will only grow brighter with time.

O Love that will not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.
O Light that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in thy sunshine's blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.
O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.
O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life's glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.