One of the gazillions things that I do is help to produce a friend of mine’s entertainment blog so there’s not a day that goes by when I don’t notice something in the pop culture world that “puts me on pause”. Over the past couple of weeks, there have been three people who have been especially on my radar: Chris Brown, Britney Spears and Madonna.
I remember once reading a quote that said something to the affect of this: “We have to be willing to be patient with people because you never know their whole story. Until they tell you.” Well, if you happen to be someone who follows pop culture or is just influenced by it (and that, one way or another, would be all of us), then I’m pretty sure that just by hearing Chris, Britney and Madonna’s names, some kind of emotion is evoked.
OK. Well take that emotion and then think about this:
According to Madonna, she was raped at knifepoint at 17.
According to Britney, she feels like she is overly sexualized.
According to Chris, he lost his virginity at (what?!?) 8 years of age. (That’s a third grader!)
Now has your emotions towards them changed? Even just a little bit?
Does it dismiss some of their choices, especially when it comes to the image that they tend to project in their career? No. We all are responsible for the decisions that we make. But you know what? Something that made Christ a really cool individual is that it appeared that he had a real knack for not just looking at what a person was doing (or not doing) at any given time but also seeing them beyond their present state. He had a gift for seeing the bigger picture: past, present and even future.
When the woman was caught in adultery and the men (eh hem, some of which had probably also partaken in the act along with her) determined that she should immediately be put to death by stoning Christ, while acknowledging that what she did was wrong (hence the “Go and sin no more” response), was also able to see what led her to that point; the brokenness that led her to that place. Death wasn’t going to heal her. Love was. That is what the “Let him without sin cast the first stone” was all about. Christ was telling those men to remember that nothing is as simple as it seems when it comes to humans. Especially as it relates to their sexuality.
I can recall watching and reading a lot of what Madonna, Britney and Chris have done over the years that has caused me to think “What the heck is THAT all about?” But you know what? No matter what, no one deserves to be raped, no one should feel like a sex toy and no one should experience sex at 8-years-old. And without question, those kinds of things change a person. Drastically. Both on and off of the stage.
You know, I recall R. Kelly saying in his song “I Wish” this: “Instead of y’all throwing them stones at me, somebody pray for me.”
I hear you, Robert.
And I heard your stories Chris, Britney and Madonna.
There’s always more than just what we see. Duly noted.