Are you wondering what to teach your teenager when headlines are overtaken by things like the Solange Knowles-Jay Z beat down? Or how to rid your own mind of useless celebrity information that you have been inadvertently exposed to? If you are an organic newsreader like me, meaning you scan the headlines and tend to take in whatever naturally comes across your visual or aural paths, then your answer is an emphatic, "YES."
With so much of the news covering what these celebrities eat, drive, and sleep with -- it is important to acknowledge the bigger picture when stories like this monopolize our media. There are plenty of articles out there just having an elevator party filled with assumption and judgment with this video footage. I prefer to follow Beyonce's lead and take the higher road. Hence, here are 7 Real Lessons We Can All Learn from the Jay Z and Solange Elevator Video:
1. PRIVACY IS LIMITED.
Everyone has access to a video camera. Even my five-year-old daughter knows how to make a video. We are all reporters now. So be accountable for your actions and behaviors because there is a short list of places you can be, and things you can do, that someone else cannot be witness to. As the Healing Vigilante my theory is: if everyone is going to be more accountable because they think they might be documented, then hallelujah. Thank you, Apple.
2. EVERYONE GETS TRIGGERED.
Money, fame, and an elegant gala do not make you immune from human emotion. We all get triggered sometimes, usually at inopportune moments, and have the potential to go ape sh*t on someone in an elevator. Experiences like that are a reminder that...
3. EVERYONE NEEDS TO LEARN HOW TO SELF-REGULATE WHEN TRIGGERED.
Now, it is important to mention that Solange did hold it together enough to wait until she thought she was in a private moment to go ape sh*t. That demonstrates some level of consciousness. However, she did NOT do much to regulate her emotions when she was obviously triggered. Instead, she did what most people do: she "bit the bullet" and then tried to regulate her emotions by projecting them onto someone else. What she needed to do was shut up, breathe, and take some time to take care of herself. Regardless of what unfolded, it is NEVER okay to resort to physical violence. She needed to check herself and was very lucky Jay Z did not respond in kind.
4. YOUR WORDS AND ACTIONS CAN LEAD TO A BEAT DOWN.
Disclaimer: Since there is no audio on the video, I have no idea what Jay Z said in that elevator. I do know that he did not just stay mute. Let's assume for the sake of this point that he was a little defensive and may have said some things that did not exactly diffuse the situation. He needed to have awareness that he was not dealing with a grounded, calm person. Whether you are flipping off a bad driver, defending yourself from an obnoxious drunk person at a bar, or reacting to an insult in an argument - understand if you mess with a triggered person, you could be harmed. Even if 1000 witnesses would say in unison, "You are right!" the healthiest thing to do in an escalated situation is: shut up, breathe, and walk away (or, in Jay Z's scenario, get off of the elevator and take the stairs).
5. SOCIAL MEDIA CAN BE AN EFFECTIVE FORM OF INITIAL COMMUNICATION.
I am personally a big fan of social media. It has opened up communication across the world in many ways. It has helped small businesses get bigger, great causes get funded, long distant friends share their lives, and my family on the East Coast be able to know I'm safe from the San Diego fires. Even more so, it has served as a great venue to extend an olive branch and initiate communication during a challenging situation. It helps both sides to put their toe in the water and will hopefully put them heart deep in vulnerability and a stronger relationship.
6. FAMILY SEES THE BEST AND WORST OF US.
As a relationship therapist, many have wondered why they treat the people they love so badly sometimes. Parents have asked why their child is so great in public and just ruthless at home. The answer is: they feel safe and know it's okay to be vulnerable. Boundaries are just different with family - there is an unspoken agreement that regardless of what we do, or how "ugly" we get, our family will always love us. And this goes both ways - usually family will get to see and experience the most beautiful sides of us as well. The bottom line is...
7. WE ALL WANT THE SAME THING: LOVE AND ACCEPTANCE.
Once again, I have no idea what was actually said. However, my guess is that Jay Z said something that caused Solange to feel unloved or not accepted in some way. Maybe he did not mean to, or it was just something minimal like, "You look like an orange", however the ego is fragile, and that is enough to trigger feelings of rejection in someone. When those feelings are triggered, most people will stand up and fight to prove they are lovable and acceptable just as they are. And, sometimes, that fight happens in an elevator while wearing a fancy dress.
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