Is it me or are more people getting far too comfortable airing out their dirty laundry in public? By asking this question, I’m not referring to hanging clothes on a clothesline. I am asking about the drama between two or more people and the comfort level they feel to freely share that mess with the public.
Think about when you once had a new relationship, got upset with what the other person did, and started complaining about them to your friends or family. You should have been on the defense side, defending the one you love. But rather, you unknowingly presented evidence, building a case against them. You convinced them why you should not stay with that person. Then, after you calmed down and were levelheaded again, those around you filled your mind with doubt toward your partner. They did not have the benefit of the countless hours you spent getting to know each other. All they had to go off was the evidence you presented them. My point is to be careful in how you treat those you care about. The world will likely treat them in the same way, but magnified.
Recently, when I left a restaurant, there was a beautiful young woman standing outside the door. Unknowingly, I nearly hit her with the door because she was standing directly behind it with her arms crossed, furious. On the bench seat in front of her was a handsome young man. “You always do this,” he said scornfully. It was a familiar thought I too had in times past. I felt embarrassed for them because the people standing around waiting to be seated stared at them in judgment. Neither seemed to care and fiercely lashed out at each other.
No doubt things can be hard, not only during the dating phase but in marriage also. Even minor things, when not properly dealt with can become huge barriers between people. It builds up to the point of eruption, at which point the damage multiplies, often with terrible timing. It’s not just couples who air their dirty laundry though. Family and friends do it as well. One thing about images is they are hard to get out of our minds. Once we see an image, we may completely forget what things used to look like beforehand. We can only see what is right in front of us. By airing out our dirty laundry, it shows the world all the things we would not want to be communicated about ourselves and the people we care about.
I’ve seen daytime television shows that revel in this sort of drama. People tear away at each other; the way crows and buzzards peck away at dead carcasses along the roadside. The verbal savagery is too much for me to watch. I wonder how anyone involved retains any sense of dignity after public humiliation like that. It almost seems made up; too bizarre to be true.
But I wonder if this type of behavior has become so common that it is what we’ve come to expect out of each other. I hope not, for our sake and that of future generations. I pray that we would pay closer attention and catch things while they are small. Perhaps then the issues could be discussed privately with a level head and keep all parties from embarrassing themselves in public. Let’s hold to the value of dignity that each human being deserves. Even when we are at a low place and deserve to be humiliated, let us rather find mercy standing above us, ready to lift us up to a higher place.