Earlier this week, the world was overly entertained by the elevator melee between Solange Knowles–alternative recording artist and sister of Beyonce–and Sean “Jay Z” Carter. The memes were so amazing, I almost checked Craigslist to see if anyone was hiring a Professional Satire Meme Artist for Hallmark. The three-minute footage of the fight possessed no sound, but the imagination of onlookers ran wild, and even celebrities recreated the clip with their versions of what was said in that elevator at the MET gala.
This article is not going to debate whether fighting is or is not cool, because frankly…I’ont know the whole story. It seems like so many of us automatically acted like we had a perfect peaceful family from “Little House on the Prairie” and could not conceive a reason for their siblings to step in and “knuck if you buck.” As for me and my house…we can be straight CRAY if there is a reason (but it gotta be a strong reason). So I don’t know why Solange threw them paws and claws…and I am cool with that.
This article, however, is brought to you by the letter “S” for “Silence”. Yes, I want to pay homage to the poise of Beyonce Knowles. As you all know, I do not shy away from critiquing Bey, or any celebrity for that matter. But, out of all the times when she has chanted, “I’m a GROOOOOWWWNNNNN woman,” her actions in the elevator revealed how grown she really was. Beyonce remained mostly neutral on the elevator, not pushing or fighting either party, nor doing anything that would jeopardize her safety or the safety of others. But most importantly, she preserved her image.
Transition for a quick second. When Jesus was with his disciples performing miracles, it is often overlooked that even those closest to Him did not realize who He really was. And guess what? Jesus was cool with that for the most part. He didn’t try to convince folks that He was the Messiah. He didn’t take to “Jerusalagram” and brag about his abilities or take selfies with the blind man He gave sight to, or the bread and fish before He fed the multitudes. And truth be told, there were several instances where He told folks to not reveal who He was. Why? Because he was aware of His full image. His goal was not to be famous, nor was His mission to conform to the standards of others. His ministry was to reveal the truth, offer the truth, and be the truth–and part of that “Being” was as healer, comforter, chef, whatever people needed Him to be to become whole. Anything that was going to slow that down was a threat to His purpose.
Many really wanted Beyonce to say something in light of the tape’s release, but even Jesus did not respond to every question presented to Him. One of my FAVORITE passages is when Jesus was before the Council of High Priests, right before His crucifixion. Here He was, under the spotlight, and in the court of spectators and people who thought they knew it all. What should have been a place of justice, was a den of accusations. Just like the many people this week who stayed trying to put the pieces together of the Solange/Jay Z fiasco, the priests started throwing out lies and hearsay to Jesus, straight fishing…talking about “and we heard this…is this true?” “and what about this?…did you do that?” Finally the Word says:
60 Then the high priest stood up before the others and asked Jesus, “Well, aren’t you going to answer these charges? What do you have to say for yourself?” 61 But Jesus was silent and made no reply. (Mark 14: 60-61).
Every so often, I reflect on this verse and think about why He didn’t say anything. All I had was his act of self-restraint. Jesus was not going to entertain innuendos or conspiracies. Maybe it was because He realized that no matter how much truth He spoke, the crowd wouldn’t believe Him. Maybe it was because hate does not warrant a response. Or maybe it was because of what happened next. Right after His silence, one of the priests asked “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” Jesus simply answered, “I Am.” And when You Are…you gotta act like you are…and keep it moving.
I don’t know if Beyonce knew there was a camera in that elevator, but what is clear is that she is aware of her image. While not the best of circumstances, she shows us how not to respond to the noise. Whether we like it or not, she shows us that we don’t have to respond to every critic just because curiosity lingers. And an even greater example is our Savior, Jesus, who even in His last moments on earth was like (._. ) “you talkin’ to moi?…heathen please!” Sometimes, we need to just not speak (or text, or facebook post, or instagram).
In true BeyGency fashion, we will never know the truth. But I think that we can all learn from Beyonce’s example: silence is a right least exercised by most, and exercised by those who realize that anything you say and do CAN and WILL be used against you. Focusing on who you are, who’s you are, and on what really matters the most should motivate us to be careful with our deeds and responses. All won’t understand…and all don’t need to know. So why bother proving what you are?
We should learn to live our lives as if it is always on camera, so that even in silence, people would know us…by our actions.