I just got done watching some snippets from the MTV 2015 VMAs and if you didn’t watch it, I’ll recap just some of the highlights for you here: Nicki Minaj performed with Taylor Swift in a confusing rendition of “Trini Dem Girls/The Night is Still Young/Bad Blood; Nicki also tried to start a fight with Miley Cyrus after accepting her Video Music Award which Miley responded surprisingly well to; Bruno Mars won best male video for “Uptown Funk”; Justin Bieber delivered a moving performance and broke down in tears at the end of “Where are U Now/What Do You Mean” and Kanye West delivered a confusing and long acceptance speech for the Video Vanguard Award and announced he was running for President in 2020. What a night right! Of course a lot of time, money and effort goes into these shows and I am sure their goal was for us to be entertained, shocked, wow’ed and perhaps inspired.
But can I can tell you all that I felt while watching? Sadness and compassion. All I could see were people who had lost their way. Some having once known their way and lost it while others never knew the way to begin with and have been wondering blind their whole career. I cannot imagine the pressure they must feel. The pressure to perform, the pressure to create, the pressure to sell songs and concert tickets, the pressure to entertain and keep people coming back for more. People who are well-known to the world yet strangers to themselves. People who don’t know who they are or who they should be. People whose identity is found in tweets and followers and ticket sales and iTunes downloads.
What wakes them up in the morning I wonder? Money, fame, notoriety? To me, that would be like chasing a rabbit that outsmarts you at every turn. Always running after it but it’s always just out of reach, always slipping through your fingers.
Growing up, I had dreamt of being a pop star even though my dance moves are better than my voice! I look at them now and I thank God that’s not me.
But instead of judging and passing comments about these people, I’ve decided to pray for them. Pray that it won’t get too much, pray that they won’t fall into a pit of despair with no way out. Pray they won’t succumb to the pain and pressure of artists who have gone before and lost the fight. Pray that they will see a ray of light, of purpose, of hope, of strength. A light that says there’s something more you can live for, something more you can believe in than just what Hollywood has sold you.
What about you? Where is your identity found? Are you living for likes and followers and invitations and inclusion? Or could you live for something more? Click on the link below to find out how.