Kanye West has taking a whoopin' in the last 72 hours or so. From the President referring to him in expletive terms to Jay Leno asking him what his mother would say…Kanye has taken a whoopin'. I don't feel sorry for him. He earned it. He is 31 years old.
Less noticed throughout the fury was the classy handling of the situation by a 19-year-old named Taylor Swift, who not only didn't fire back. She performed about five minutes later with class and dignity as well.
This got me thinking how I would have felt if it had happened to me…or you? What does one do when one of the happiest moments of your life is ruined by somebody?
I've seen this happen at weddings when a drunk groomsmen/bridesmaid decides to offer a slurry, colorful toast or make a scene during the ceremony. I've seen it when parents miss their kid's proudest moments and when someone comments negatively in the newspaper/blogosphere on someone's scholarly work or personal memoirs. I've seen people get heckled while receiving awards.
What do you do?
When it's happened to me in random settings on a couple of occasions, I've felt stunned, and unsure quite how to respond. Sometimes I've responded better than others. All you can do is take it, and then respond the best way you know how. You can only respond the way you think Jesus would, and that's much easier said then done…especially in the spur of the moment.
Sometimes the Jesus way may mean a rebuke to someone. More often, it may mean simply gracing someone by taking the high-road…which is a tough climb when you feel embarrassed or robbed of happiness by someone. When you feel as though someone has harmed you, it's natural to want to lash out. But it seldom accomplishes much. If Taylor Swift had grabbed the mic and given Kanye West an earful, we'd be talking about the feud between Kanye West and Taylor Swift. Instead, he got a head full of burning coals, and she's never been more revered–rightfully so.
To Taylor Swift, thanks for taking the high-road. May you be blessed for taking it. May all the teenage girls (and others) who love your music learn to love the high-road more because of what happened. Way to go, girl.
I'd love to hear some of the experiences some of you have had with this–either personal or someone else's experience. Please share.