Have you heard of the “cancel culture”? As an X’er, I’m not as hip on the current slang, but my teenage son and resident millennial educated me on the term. It’s a form of public shaming, usually for celebrities who have said or done something in the past that is questionable or offensive. I remember seeing it happen to Kevin Hart in 2018, he was going to host the 2019 Oscars but tweeted something in 2011 that was deemed offensive. He was passed over for the gig.
The cancel culture disregards societal evolution. Social norms change. We can look at women’s fashion over the years and see how corsets were required, and only a harlot would go without one, to today where a bra is a choice. We used to think that bloodletting with leeches was good for the body, and now we know better.
As we know better, we do better.
I hear a lot of people talking about how George Washington held slaves. They cite how terrible it was in the mid 20th century with segregation and the criminalization of homosexuality. Sexual harassment in the mid-1980s was accepted and tolerated. My mother, a hot redhead with a tight body and tiny waist, speaks freely of how her boss treated her during that decade. I’m not saying that any of these things are right, I’m saying that they were the norm.
When we look back on our history, personally and collectively, we need to adjust our lens, our perspective to see what was socially acceptable at the time. Is it socially acceptable for Kevin Hart to tweet an anti-gay message in 2011? No, not really, but had he grown as a person in the seven years between the time of the tweet and the 2019 Oscars? I would assume so.
Humankind is evolving.
We aren’t the same as we were 200, 50, or even ten years ago. We need to cancel the cancel culture. We need to quit judging each other for things that we said or did in the past. When we forgive we are free from the shackles of resentment, anger and fear.
If we want to effect change in society, we need to start with ourselves. Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly. What does that mean?
- “Just” means, equitable and fair.
- “Mercy” means letting people off the hook, not holding their transgressions over their heads. It’s flat out forgiveness, even if you don’t think they deserve it.
- Humbly, meaning, listen. Be teachable. Keep an open mind.
Act justly, forgive freely, remain teachable. This is how we will continue to evolve. This is how we will effect change in our society.
It starts here. Now. With you. With me.
Just for today
I will act justly, forgive freely, and remain teachable.
My Creator, take all that I am and use it for your benefit. Show me where I can help those who need help, bring me the people that I can serve, and please grant me a heart of optimism and grace.