Everyone is abuzz about Joe Wilson , Serena Williams, and Kanye West and their public displays of out of control behavior this past week. The new screaming headline is “WHERE HAS CIVILITY GONE ?” I sort of chuckle at that question because these recent public displays of emotion running wild should not startle us, should they?  I guess what I mean by that is that we are living in the “ME” culture. Apparently none of these three individuals have read the first sentence in Rick Warren’s best seller The Purpose Driven Life. In this book, the very first line is “IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU” 

and how true of a statement that is.


In today’s culture, so many are thinking about number one, numero uno, the person that they see staring back at them from that mirror each morning. Make no mistake about it, Kanye West jumping up and grabbing the microphone from nineteen year old Taylor Swift during her moment in an awards show was not really about her or Beyonce or anyone else. It was about him. The only problem was what he thought would happen didn’t happen at all. He wrongly assumed that because of his own celebrity and because of how huge he is in his own mind, that he could act rudely and get away with it. He quickly discovered how wrong he was when his actions were met with loud boos instead of cheering and approval.


 Joe Wilson’s outburst was in my opinion, less calculated and more of an emotional reaction however that does not excuse it. As President Obama was characterizing many in the right as misleading others or lying about his health care reform plan and thereby scaring many Americans, Joe Wilson impulsively reacted by yelling “YOU LIE”. Whether anyone agrees with what Joe Wilson was saying is irrelevant…what is relevant is that he disrespected the etiquette of the occasion and the office of the presidency.


In a recent tennis match, Serena Williams was upset with one of the officials and reacted with a string of expletives accompanied with a personal threat of harming this person. Her tirade was played repeatedly on ESPN as well as several other news channels. She was disqualified from the match, fined ten thousand dollars and may perhaps be facing a suspension from tennis as well. Do you think if she was a new and upcoming player she would have behaved that way? I highly doubt it. She is a star, a legend if you will in the world of tennis and sadly, she has believed too many of her own press reports and has become a legend in her own mind and because of that, she feels a freedom to behave badly.


This is also the problem with Kanye West who made an utter fool of himself and has now publicly apologized three times, the last being on the Jay Leno show.  He simply feels that he is entitled because of the special person that he believes himself to be. It’s all about him, his fame, his stardom, the light shining on him.


My question is …should we really be surprised? We live in a culture that places sports and entertainment personalities on such a pedestal and pays them obscene amounts of money. They are idolized, talked about, followed and almost worshipped by our culture yet we express shock when they behave in such an egotistical manner. A culture that has it’s priorities so scrambled really should not be scratching their heads in confusion or nodding in disapproval at such selfish antics and public tantrums because after all, we are the ones who create these monsters.


Whether you are a Rick Warren fan or not, his message in his book is right on. It’s not all about us. It’s not all about you. It’s not all about me. It’s really all about God and why we are all here in the first place. It’s all about understanding the purpose of our lives and living to bring glory to our creator and serving Him. It’s about putting others before ourselves. It’s not about standing in the spotlight, but reflecting the light to the One who deserves it.


We live in a mixed up self absorbed society for sure. Let’s try to do all that we can to expose truth and get a correct focus. Only then will we begin to be spared so much of the attention grabbing shows that seem to be the status quo these days.


God help us to do so.