You all know the story: young country singer wins an award, and an allegedly intoxicated rap artist bursts onto the stage and breaks off her acceptance speech, causing murmurs of shock and disgust to ripple through the crowd, and consequently, through popular culture.
By now, the story about Kanye West’s rude interruption of Taylor Swift at the VMAs has been beat to death. Nearly everyone has an opinion about it, a new angle, or more questions for the people involved.
It’s an interesting view of culture for all of us–to see our opinions and prejudices played out on a national stage. Face it, we love drama. We want to hear all the juicy details, we want to discuss the issue with our friends, and we want to feel powerful in the moment of judging someone else’s actions.
But somewhere in all of this talk, we forget that these are real people, not just puppets produced for our entertainment. In a recent radio interview, the DJ pressed Swift for comments about West’s actions, and she replied: “I just want to focus on the outpouring of love I’ve experienced . . . people I don’t even know have had my back and been so kind.”
When the DJ persisted on trying to get a statement about West’s actions, she said, not unkindly: “I’m just trying to not make this a big deal. It’s already a bigger deal than it should be, and I think we need to move on.”
When I heard this gracious response, I was reminded of Christ’s admonition to “turn the other cheek”. We’ve all had hurts. We’ve all been humiliated or treated poorly, but do we focus on the love of others and of Christ, or on our pain?
Beyonce was incredibly kind to share her moment at the VMAs with Swift after West’s outburst. Rather than verbally condemn his actions, she chose to show support through her demeanor and a gracious sharing of the spotlight.
People will both hurtful and kind, and we can either focus on the Kanye Wests or the Beyonces in our lives. How will we respond when we have one of these moments? Will we gently give up our pride and remember that it’s “not that big of a deal” or will we hold a grudge? Will we focus on “the outpouring of love” or our embarrassment?