Dear Parents, Let Miley Cyrus be a lesson to us

Aug 26

Miley CyrusDo you hear that? Could it be the overwhelming public adoration for a music artist who used her spotlight at the MTV Video Music Awards (VMA) this Sunday to highlight a social cause close to her heart? Nope. Never mind. It seems the sympathetic gesture made by Miley Cyrus to bring awareness to teen homelessness has already faded from our collective consciousness, assuming it was ever fully acknowledged at all.

This response stands in stark contrast to last year when our social media feeds were jam packed with reports decrying her pornographic VMA performance. For weeks, blog post after blog post offered a well deserved, yet slightly misdirected, public lashing for the trash much of our culture considers primetime entertainment. Personally I feel such publicity stunts by entertainers reflect more so on consumers than producers, which I’ve written about in the past. But I digress. The point is—America took notice of this disaster and had a lot to say about it.

Fast-forward to this Sunday where we witness Miss. Cyrus doing something positive with her celebrity, setting a good example for fans. So, where are the interviews? Where are the blog posts? Where are the countless Facebook status updates, applauding her for a job well done?  Well, there just doesn’t seem to be much fuss about it now, does there?

I wonder; if we find it acceptable and necessary to rip into someone when they fail, isn’t our responsibility to build them up in equal proportion when they do well? I assume so; but like the rest of America—I admit—that is not my tendency.

In observing the public’s quiet response to Miley’s philanthropic action, I noticed a similar silence in my own life. For example, when all is well with my children, I don’t have much to say about it to them, although the resulting peace that exists in our home is their natural reward. However when one of them gets out of line, particularly the older children who should know better, the negative attention that rains down on them, at times, is disproportionate to this natural reward—a reward they might not even be conscious of.

If I can assume that Miley Cyrus might be a bit disappointed, even discouraged, or derailed by the lack of public affirmation for doing good, how can I not assume the same about my tween girls when it comes to the good they are doing in our home?

While our identity should always be found in Christ alone, and not in the approval of others, God tells us to encourage and build up one another, stirring up each other to do good works. It seems in some instances, I might have approached this commandment a little backwards, or at times have forgotten it altogether. And from the looks of it, maybe America has too.

Correction should be a means to reconciliation–not just blowing off steam. If we are going to wail over that which is wrong, we’d better be ready to hail that which is right. Otherwise, we’ve simply allowed anger, inconvenience, and frustration to be our greatest motivators when responding to others. Whether its our reaction to an entertainer, a public official or even our own kids, let Miley Cyrus be a lesson to us to be particularly mindful of those actions that are excellent, admirable, and praiseworthy.

Way to go Miley! Job well done!!

Screen Shot 2014-08-26 at 11.50.19 AMPhoto credit: Christopher Polk/MTV1415/Getty Images for MTV 

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2 Responses to Dear Parents, Let Miley Cyrus be a lesson to us

  1. Vicky says:

    Bravo!! Well said friend! I am extremely guilty if this. I find I am less apt to shine a light in my kids’ positive behavior, if I’m being honest, as a rebellion against the culture’s encouragement of and propensity to praise every single thing they do. However, as you pointed out, doing the extreme opposite is not how we address things. I can praise my kids in authentic and meaningful ways. Lord knows I can come up with a thousand ways to critique them. Shouldn’t I find AT LEAST half as many to build them up? If not, I’ve got some heart cleaning to do!
    Thank you for reminding me/us that we should put at least equal measures of “hail with our wail.”

  2. Andy Lee says:

    I found you on Juana Mikel’s link-up. I love what you wrote. It is true that we seem to focus on the negative, but at the same time, I can’t help but think that if Miley didn’t have such a miserable reputation in the first place, more would have been said about the good she did. Maybe if her Hannah Montana reputation had continued the world would have said, “Well done! We know her heart. She does sweet, good things all the time. Let’s follow in her shoes!” But instead we wonder if this is yet another attempt for attention…or redemption…maybe that is why so little has been said. No matter what our reasons, I pray it makes a difference in our country, and I pray for the young man who had the chance of a life time. Many blessings to you! ~andy lee

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