As I was watching the Cotton Bowl game with Oklahoma State versus Missouri, they highlighted the life of OSU Cowboys’ wide receiver Josh Stewart. As I watched the story of his life, I couldn’t help but get a little choked up and thought to myself that he defies everything that situation ethics teaches.
When Josh was 6 months old, his 18 year old mom and older brother were driving home from church on a Sunday. Josh was supposed to be in the car with his mom, but ended up riding with his cousin in his maternal grandmother’s car. She related how the traffic was slowed up because of an accident up ahead. A truck tried to pass a slower car and ended up running his mom’s car off the road. Josh’s mom’s neck was broken and she died instantly. His brother was thrown from the car and died of a heart attack after arriving at the hospital.
Josh was then raised by his maternal grandmother. At age five Josh was with his father and paternal grandfather. There was an accidental shooting that hit Josh’s dad in the neck, killing him. Josh told his grandmother that his dad was bleeding all over and they laid him on a bed and took him away in a car.
His maternal grandmother raised him and taught Josh to work hard, be humble and have faith. That faith was put to the test when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and destroyed the family home. With no home to return to, the family fled to north Texas.
At this point in his life, situation ethics would justify Josh having a bitter or angry attitude about life. Both parents and brother tragically killed and house destroyed would be enough to cause anyone to feel sorry for themselves. But that is not what happened to Josh.
Entering high school, Josh got interested in football. He said it was his way of escaping some of the harsh realities of life. Although they knew each other in middle school, it wasn’t until high school that Josh, a black kid, became friends with J.W. Walsh, a white kid. They played on the same high school football team coached by J.W.’s dad John Walsh. Josh became the schools number one receiver. Not only did Josh and J.W. become friends on the football field, but they became friends off the field as well. John Walsh became the father figure in Josh’s life and J.W. became the brother that Josh lost so long ago.
The two boys learned to rely on each other both on and off the football field. They were elated when first Josh and then J.W. received scholarships to play football at Oklahoma State University. They continue their close relationship as quarterback and receiver as well as feeling like brothers in the same family.
I don’t know if Josh will make it to the NFL, but in my opinion, he is already a success. Not because of his football skills but for his overcoming adversity and not allowing situation ethics to ruin his life. He chose to rise above that and make something of his life, demonstrating that anyone can overcome tragedy and strife if only they want to.
If you know anyone that has that woe is me because of what’s happened to me attitude, show them the video of Josh Stewart and challenge them to change their crappy attitude and decide to overcome what they’ve been through. Tell them to be like Josh and rise above situation ethics and prove to themselves that they can be successful and accomplish better things in life.