The Hartford Courant is reporting on a student from Trinity College who went to Costa Rica to compete in a Triathlon a few months ago over spring break. While his experience was no less then spectacular and rewarding to run, swim, and ride in a lush tropical clime, it ended on a low note when he struck a bunch of pedestrians outside a bus station on his way to the airport. This 22 year old college senior proceeded to experience what it is like for many Americans to have their inalienable rights ignored and essential be nonexistent; essentially the assumption that we are innocent until proven guilty.
While I understand the pain and anguish of his parents waiting state side for their son to deal with this situation, it was an incredible "teachable moment" for this young man. An opportunity to build character and recognize that humility is a tool as well as a trait in these types of situations. He was a guest in that country as we all are when we visit as tourists or for employment on foreign soil. Once we learn this within our very transient society, the better equipped we will be for these types of tragedies. The young man should have bucked up and taken his punishment, paid whatever bribes, fines were required with great relish and joy, sat in a jail cell, or waited for his time in court in some cheap hotel until justice was served in THAT country. While painful and probably wrought with inexplicable inconsistencies, he needed to do it! Instead, he snuck out of the country (allegedly under the recommendation of the US State Department) and proceeded back to Massachusetts to a hero's welcome.
What kind of messages are we sending about accountability?
TV News Report - Trinity College Student Kept in Costa Rica