Why did Britney Spears hit such a personal and professional low? It’s not a typical Good City question, but I heard the echoes of one of our themes in a story on MSNBC headlined, “Who Can Save Her Image?”
Here’s the money quote from Eric Foster White, who co-wrote six songs on Britney’s first album, “Baby One More Time”:
“You have to understand that there’s nobody in the equation who stood to benefit by giving it to her straight.”
Let’s say that sad truth again: Nobody stood to benefit by giving it to her straight.
Why did Britney implode? Why do horrible singers try out on “American Idol”? Why did that now-canned WellPoint executive think he could propose to and dump 12 women in two years?
Because they were surrounded by people — or surrounded themselves with people — who had no qualms with keeping silent about uncomfortable truths.
But don’t gloat. Perhaps you’re not on television, but the same lesson applies. Do you do anything that would cause the people around you to shrink from telling you the truth? Is there a sensitivity you wear or an anger you nurture that tells potential allies to back away from certain criticisms?
Hebrews 10:24-25 instructs us, “Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.” Life in community should mean life with people who are willing to challenge you, not life with people who just want to egg on your selfishness and sin, perhaps for their own benefit.
This is why it’s perilous to make fun of celebrities like Britney Spears. Given enough fame and fortune, too many of us would be in the same sad situation.