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Steve Harvey – Poetic Justice: What are the Lessons To Be Learned?

February 5, 2016 by Herbert Daughtry

Part One

Steve Harvey, the renowned comedian and TV show host, made a planet-shocking mistake. As the Master of Ceremonies of the Ms. Universe contest, he announced that the crown was won by Ms. Colombia. The crown was placed on the head of the beautiful, ecstatic young lady to the uproarious applause of her family and supporters. To the shocked audience and incredulous world, Mr. Harvey announced a terrible mistake. The winner wasn’t Ms. Colombia, but Ms. Philippines. The crown was taken off of Ms. Colombia’s head and placed on Ms. Philippine’s head. With extraordinary grace, Ms. Colombia accepted the monumental mistake, and gave Ms. Philippine’s a hug.

Was Steve Harvey’s dreadful mistake a poetic justice? Was God paying him back for treating his own people as buffoons and clowns? Here was a man who rode to fame and fortune largely by making a circus of the Black Church. Black people became a joke or a laughing stock under his comic routine.

Now, after this awful mistake, there he was, standing before the world and looking stupid. He tried to apologize. The more he talked, the dumber and the more asinine he looked. The man, who made others appear moronic, stupid, and/or the object of laughter, now appeared like the people that he caricatured or mimicked.

His huge hulking frame, decked out in a white suit, shoulders bent as if he was slinking – a confused, boyish look masked his face. His big hands fumbled and fidgeted with the cards. His features were forever fixed in the mind of the world for comic relief, cruel criticism, and/or, for those of us who are his friends and supporters, empathetic embarrassment.

He was on TV, radio, news print, social media, you name it, projecting his biting humor that reduced other human beings to clowns. Now, the whole world watched him. The criticism was scathing. Some critics and even supporters asked, “Could he not read a few lines? A child could have read the names.” He provided plenty of fodder for the canons of his critics.

Let us heed the lessons of Scripture: “We shall reap what we sow.” If we insult others, we shall be insulted. If we attempt to make to show others as fools, dummies, or clowns , rest assured that there will come a time when we shall be forced to drink the cup of humiliation and insults which we have given others.

However, there is another lesson in this story. It is equally important as the Ms. Universe faux pas, at least it must rank high in any thoughtful person’s list of importance. Or, maybe another way of saying it – in the area of understanding human behavior, there is a special place this story occupies. The dramatic lesson is that our bodies will act a certain way depending upon on how we believe the message is sent to us. Here is a the superlative point. The external message may be false, but if we believe that it is true, our bodies will react as if it were true.

The influence of the information presented to us will impact our very being, conditional upon whether or not we believe it. If our minds tell us something will harm us, even when it has no power to do so, our bodies are going to react to what our minds tell us. Therefore, we should train ourselves to handle information presented to us cautiously; and, in some instances, question it. In other instances, reject it. If we believe a lie, it can make us sick, and even persuade us to do harm to ourselves. We can believe a lie about other people and our bodies will react accordingly, and we will treat them a certain way.

Ms. Colombia thought she had won. That was the message delivered to her, and she believed it. The belief caused her great joy. Ms. Philippines, on the other hand, felt, at least, resigned to the message. Then, the bombshell – the message was untrue. Now, the expressions changed dramatically. Ms. Philippines believed the new message, and she became joyful. Ms. Colombia seemed stunned and confused. The lesson:” It is what we believe about the message we receive from the external world that determines how we feel.” Thus, the impact for weal or woe for our bodies, and our entire being, physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Let us suppose that it would have taken days before the discovery was made. Ms. Colombia would have continued believing she had won. Her body would have reacted to that belief. Her joy would have let loose a chain of chemical reactions. The enzyme, serotonin, would have been released ,and a feeling of euphoria would have flowed through her body, which, in turn, would have influenced the overall health of her body. Her family, friends, and supporters would have basked in her success and happiness.

On the other hand, Ms. Philippines would have continued in the belief that she lost. There would have been an obvious reaction in her body. At best, she would have peacefully resigned herself to her defeat. At worst, she would have fell into depression, became physically ill, and might even have tried to commit suicide. Both persons were reacting to a lie they believed was the truth.

Here is another lesson to be learned. Even if the information presented to us is not good but truthful, how we interpret the information can still disturb or stress, or cause us anxiety and make us sick.

Unpleasant information interpreted in a certain way, as in the case of Ms. Philippines, can be absorbed, learn from it, and perhaps even become better as result of it. It is not the information or the external realities which cause us to act a certain way. It’s what we think about the reality, and how we interpret the information. The Bible says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”

Going back to the Ms. Universe, whether it was good or bad for Ms. Colombia is debatable. It could all depend on how Ms. Colombia handle the situation. Her attitude, so far, has been exemplary. Graciously, she approach the disappointment with an attitude that says, “All things work for good.” She garnered the world’s sympathy. Many good and positive things will happen to her as a result of how she handled a bad situation, which caused her profound confusion and bewilderment. In may turn out to be more better for her to not be chosen than to have been chosen. Our lives would be so much better if we can believe and live by the Biblical verse that says, “And we know that in all things God works for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose.”

… to be continued.