I’ve seen alot happen over the years in Philadelphia’s sports cathedrals. . . and I’m not necessarily talking about player performance. What I didn’t see happen live while watching the Phillies battle the braves the other night, was 17-year-old Sean Hagan’s red spandex run through left field during the game. I did hear Tom McCarthy and Chris Wheeler bemoan the interruption as the camera – in an effort to not glorify the teen’s actions – focused on Jason Werth and Brian McCann laughing about Braves’ left fielder Matt Diaz’ run-ending knee to Hagan’s side.
But the incident that Phillies’ security wished would quietly go away has garnered a lot of attention from media both near and far. On the day after, we not only learned the identity of the elusive red-man, but we learned that his parents, Gary and Barbara Hagan, seem to be responding by doing the right thing. . . something that happens less and less in our culture when teenagers break the law. Instead of covering for their son or bailing him out by running interference in order to spare the kid the consequences, they’ve gone public and say he will pay.
What do we teach our kids when we steal away the opportunity for them to learn from their mistakes by making sure they pay the consequences for their actions? We learn from adversity, don’t we? Sometimes, the adversity God uses to teach us lessons we need to learn is adversity that is a direct result of our impulsivity and lack of good judgment.
To Gary and Barbara Hagan. . . thanks for being an example to the rest of us through how you’re handling this thing in the public eye. I’m guessing you were living a pretty quiet life until Monday night. And to Sean. . . I’ve got a hunch that you’ll learn a lot from this. And, twenty years from now, some reporter will do one of those “Where are they now?” stories on you and we’ll see firsthand what a great lesson it was that you learned from your mom and dad.