Thank You, Kanye West
September 15th, 2009 by Liza Wiemer


Thank you so much, Kanye West.   We can learn a lot from you.  You’ve been vilified, humiliated, and humbled in the media for interrupting Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the 2009 MTV Video Awards!  Even President Barak Obama called you a jackass.  OUCH!  But I would like to express my deepest gratitude for teaching us a valuable lesson.  I mean it, sincerely.  And I hope that in the end, great things come from your painful experience.  




We have two eyes to see, two ears to hear, two hands to clap, two feet to walk – but one mouth with two lips to close it shut.  What defines us most profoundly to others?  It isn’t what we see or hear or touch or even where we walk, but what we have the most control overWHAT WE SAY. 

Most of us, baring a medical disorder, have complete control over what comes out of our mouths, what we post on Twitter or Facebook or MySpace.  Those things define us in ways we may never know.  What happened at the MTV Video Awards can make a profound difference and can be an opportunity for growth.  We all say hurtful things, perhaps not publicly or so blatantly.  Does it matter?  A hurt is a hurt. 

Think about it.  How do you want to be defined, identified, perceived?  Say something kind, and it will come back to you.  (Take a challenge – sincerely compliment others and see what happens.)  Say something mean, and it can have an impact too.   Words can leave scars; we just might not see them.

I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been hurt by gossip, true or false.  And it seems to be an epidemic in middle schools and high schools.  Everyone’s in each other’s business: who is having sex with who (or not), who cheated, who said this or that.  It’s a nightmare!

Stop.  Think about what you’re saying, who you’re saying it to, and most important WHY?  Say to others what you would want said about you.

 So thank you, Kanye West, for reminding all of us that what we say is extremely important to how others perceive us, how we perceive others, and how we perceive ourselves.  Lesson learned.

Oh, and P.S., Beyonce you’re one incredible class act!

2009 MTV Video Music Awards:  http://tiny.cc/0zZcr 

6 Responses  
Nikole Hahn writes:
September 16th, 2009 at 11:49 pm

My blog spoke about conversation. It seems we were both thinking about influence. Besides, Kanye West doesn’t care. His picture shows a bottle of hard alcohol in one hand and his hand possesively around the waste of a woman he loosely calls his girlfriend or whatever…. Besides, it’s MTV. Notice they did nothing to stop it?

Liza Wiemer writes:
September 17th, 2009 at 5:54 am

I have been following the backlash for Kanye West. What he did was in public, and therefore he has very publicly apologized. Every day I hear adults and sometimes students speak negatively about others or act in ways that are unbefitting of a beautiful soul. It also reminds me to check my own behavior, my own speech. I truly pray that this experience turns out to be an amazing lesson for all of us – WHAT we say, WHO we say it to, WHERE we say it, WHY we say it, and HOW we say it, and WHEN we say it are extremely important. Even in discussing this episode, I have heard people speak negatively about others – race – religion etc. Some may say that speech is a reflection of the true essence of who we are? Who ARE we? Again, it’s a reflection of language. Why should Kanye stop and think, if we can’t even learn the basic lesson and stop and think what we’re saying about others??
As a direct response to Nikole Hahn’s comment –
Thank you! I appreciate your comment very much. I didn’t think about the fact that MTV did nothing to stop him – though I did hear he was told to leave afterward. This reminds me that every day people are in incredible pain and we stand by and do nothing to help their hurts. This could be a friend or it could be a complete stranger. We’ve all seen the photos of people walking away from a scene after someone’s been run over, or watched someone being beaten. Love my neighbor as myself. Or one of my favorites – If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when? (Hillel)
People do and say things on drugs and alcohol that they would never do sober. (See blog entry – From Pot to Heroin to Jail – the story of an 18 year old.) True friends help, love, and guide. I hope that Kanye West has great friends that love him enough to do what they can to help him. If I could, I would stop everything and do whatever I could to ease the pain he’s going through that brought him to that moment. Jay Leno mentioned Kanye’s mother – there’s been a lot of talk about this. Did Jay do it on purpose? Planted, Spontaneous? I lost my grandparents… my grandfather in 2000, grandmother in 2007. It still hurts to this day. I think Kanye does care – I just think he’s in a lot of pain. An explanation to his behavior? Does it matter? Probably not.
I wasn’t even sure how to pronounce Kanye’s first name until this happened – now I only pray for amazing things to come for him because obviously he has tremendous talent or he never would have been on that stage. God (and yes I do believe there is a One Above) gives each of us talents. We should all use them for good.

Allison writes:
September 18th, 2009 at 4:49 pm

I don’t think I would actually consider his apology an apology. It seemed to be extremely passive aggressive and mocking.

Liza Wiemer writes:
September 18th, 2009 at 5:00 pm

Thank you. I was referring to what Taylor Swift said regarding his apology. From what I understood, she said he was quite sincere and would meet him again…

Joe writes:
September 22nd, 2009 at 6:53 pm

I think that the President calling him a jackass is something most of America can support. What we say and how we say it ultimately controls our relationships in life. I’m learning to speak carefully being around 12-14 year olds all day. A well said post Liza!

Daisy Whitney writes:
October 1st, 2009 at 10:51 pm

Couldn’t agree more on Beyonce! She was tres classy!

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