Thought for the Day:
“Egos trip, but the humble don’t stumble.”
Question for the Day:
Are you due for a reality check?
Personally, I have never been a fan of big egos. It might be partly because my father, who was a theologist of sorts, would spend a great deal of time in his writings and various musings developing a theory that he called “zero ego.” He actually penned a book entitled “Wake the Flock Up!” which was his attempt to empower and spiritually enlighten our people.
He believed that the more we as self-serving beings could minimize our egos, the closer we could get to God. He considered the life of Jesus Christ as the best example of this. Here you had a man who embodied God’s infinite power in human form. Yet, he was willing to humble himself to the point of riding on a donkey, washing the feet of his disciples, and accepting an unjustified death if it meant God’s calling on his life would be fulfilled. By casting aside his human ego, Jesus Christ was able to complete his divine mission, which was to give the rest of us access to salvation.
Now, whether you believe in Jesus or not, the idea that we may need to minimize our egos in order to reach our highest potential is reasonable. All it takes is a quick internet search and you’ll find plenty of cautionary tales of celebrities known for their huge egos, insensitivity, arrogance and disrespect, getting pimp slapped upside the head by a reality check. People who believe that their success, wealth, accolades and popularity make them above the law or entitled to unearned privileges, usually find out the hard way, that there is indeed a force bigger than us at play.
God has a funny way of putting all of the slick stuff we try to get away with out on front street. He is a master at making us eat unkind words and suffer in the same way we might have caused others to suffer. Some call it karma, but I like to think of it as divine justice. When we are quick to dismiss the pain of other people or assert our will over those who may deserve greater consideration, God has a way of leveling the playing field. When we lie, cheat, steal, and manipulate situations in a way that only serves our own selfish desires, God has a way of pulling back the covers and exposing our dirt. When we hurt, abuse or take advantage of those who are vulnerable or less fortunate, God has a way of ensuring justice is served. I imagine God bumpin’ Kendrick Lamar’s “Sit down, be humble” every time he has to serve up a healthy slice of humble pie to his children whenever we get beside ourselves.
So, let’s take a look at some of pop culture’s most memorable reality checks shall we?
Diamond and Silk
Though sisters Diamond and Silk happily traded their black cards for a spot in Trump’s traveling circus, they would soon learn that making America great again didn’t stop America from making them black again. The pair is known for attempting to debunk the validity and concerns of African American people… that is, until their recent firing from Fox News. The sisters recently claimed that they were fired for saying the same things many white commentators have said, and have since accused the network of being “racist.” (Blank stare…) Live from the Sunken Place…it’s Omarosa!
R Kelly must have thought he was untouchable when despite dozens of accusations of inappropriate sexual conduct with minors AND video taped evidence of him peeing on a preteen girl, he always managed to come out unscathed. Instead of letting his brushes with imprisonment serve as a wake up call, his behavior only became more brazen. Instead of repenting, his response was always to settle out of court and let a check absolve him of of his sins. Yet, thanks to the bravery of his latest accuser and the seizing of all of his devices, there was finally enough to hold him on federal charges. He’s now being retained in a Chicago jail cell and awaiting trial. There was a recent report of him being attacked by another inmate while in his bed, which to me is quite symbolic. If karma is real, then while Kelly is locked up, he might want to watch his back. Well, maybe not his back…. anyway, moving on. I Don’t See Nothin’ Wrong: R. Kelly, America’s Blind Eye, and the Fight for Black Girls
Wendy Williams has made a living out of being messy, so I knew it was only a matter of time before all her gossiping would come back to bite her. When I lived in New Jersey, she was probably one of the most popular radio show hosts on the east coast as everybody tuned in for her “Hot Topics” that were sure to be scandalous. She made it a point to air out the dirty laundry of other celebrities often to the point of humiliation. Wendy has billed herself as the “shock jockette” and has never hesitated to level embarrassing accusations onto other folks. Well, Wendy had to finally cash her own reality check when despite all her talk of other people’s marriages and fidelity, she had to eat crow when her husband had an outside child with his side piece. I don’t wish that kind of pain on anyone, but when I first heard that news, I couldn’t help but think, “Hey Wendy, how you doin’?”
Television star Lori Loughlin was caught up recently when she let her ego convince her that having money meant the rules didn’t apply to her. Where most of us parents pay for ACT prep courses and ride our children about not letting their GPAs fall below an acceptable level, Loughlin and her husband opted to pay someone to ensure her daughters’ admittance to USC complete with spots on the crew team. Considering how much harder lower income and minority students must work to secure those types of opportunities, it’s really pretty disgusting to know that with enough money, opportunities can be taken away from students who are busting their behinds to earn them. How egotistical must you be to already have more options than the average family could ever dream of, and still attempt to cheat your way to success? I hear Lori’s terrified of going to jail now that her and hubby are busted because she fears COVID-19 infection. Well, I guess the best she can hope is that it’s not a full house after all.
Off top, I’ve never been a fan of Ne Ne’s. From the early days of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, I found her to be an obnoxious ego maniac who tried WAY too hard to keep up with the Joneses. She loved questioning her costars level of wealth and was always label dropping and making sure everybody knew she was a “rich b***h” with “Donald Trump money.” She always had something to say about everybody else’s marriage even when it turned out it was her and her husband who had actually hit the skids. She even had the nerve to seem aggravated by her husband’s need for special care and extra time after his cancer diagnosis. It’s always about her and she has made it clear from the gate that everyone on the show owes her a debt of gratitude for their reality show careers. Well, she might have been the HBIC at one point, but now it seems she’s gotta beg Bravo to even keep her on payroll. She’s threatening to leave the show because the network is attempting to minimize her role and pay her less, which I’m thinking shouldn’t matter when you got “Donald Trump money.” But alas, karma is funny like that. She bragged about her affiliation with Trump only to be on the verge of hearing “you’re fired” herself.
Pastor John Gray
Now, I really hate to call attention to the ego issues of a pastor because I’m sure some fellow Christians would say that’s doing damage to the work of the church. But let’s be clear, pastors who come out of pocket and neglect their responsibility to submit to God’s authority and the call on their lives to lead by example, do that to themselves. I actually liked Pastor Gray until I heard about his first battle to subdue his wayward private part. Yet even then, I know none of us are perfect so I figured, he’d probably learn his lesson by humbling himself before God, seeking forgiveness, and course correcting. Yet instead, he was again recently caught on camera complaining about his wife not cooking and telling his side chick to pack her bags cause he was swooping her up and taking her out of town for a lover’s getaway. Say what, sir? Not only do you have the audacity to try to counsel other people on their marriages knowing your situation was raggedy, but you don’t have enough common sense to fix it after getting caught the first time? Nah, son…. Now, there are reports that the church he was gifted is in debt and the transfer over to him was never completed. Looks to me like God might be sitting him down. Being a pastor doesn’t make you teacher’s pet. You’re still required to do the work and pass your tests like the rest of us.
If you don’t watch Love and Hip Hop, then let me sum up Joseline by saying that she was basically a stripper and aspiring music artist who took up with producer Stevie J despite the fact that he was in a long-term committed relationship. Joseline came on the scene being extra braggadocious about her bedroom skills and let it be known that she was the “baddest b***h” who didn’t have to respect Stevie’s woman or his relationship. The Baddest Bi**h (*GLG Throwback 3/20/15) She was gonna get her man and she didn’t care who was hurt in the process. Long story short, the “Puerto Rican Princess” got a strong dose of her own medicine when her beloved “Steebie” broke up with her and took up with a woman he says has always been the love of his life. Where she used to insult Stevie’s ex-woman and belittle her as just his “baby mama,” it was her who ended up fighting for child support when he left her to be a single mother. Later, he actually won custody of the daughter they share. Disrespecting someone else’s family ended up costing her the family she was trying so hard to create. Side Piece, Be Still (*GLG Throwback 2/29/2016)
Now, don’t get it confused. There’s nothing wrong with prioritizing your own wants and needs and I even advise my clients to be selfish from time to time. Go Ahead and Free Yourself! Taking care of ourselves is not, in and of itself, egotistical. However, when getting ahead means that others are harmed, insulted, disrespected, devalued, abused, or taken advantage of, then it’s no longer in line with God given advancement. Many folks try to circumvent submission to a higher authority in the pursuit of what they want and that usually leads to nothing but a big fat chin check. So take it from your girl, if you’re head is getting a little too swollen and you find yourself going for what you want despite how it may negatively impact others, you may need to check yourself before your wreck yourself. What is done in the darkness will always come to light, because the big homie upstairs don’t play that.
“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”