Watch Me Burn

There is a song on the Recovery CD by Eminem entitled “Watch Me Burn”.

Words are so powerful. His lyrics speak about a relationship that he has had with a woman and the listener is left with the feeling that this woman could possibly be either his ex-wife or his girlfriend.  In the lyrics, he talks about a violent relationship that he has had with the woman and his feelings about why he is the way he is and his version of what love is and how he is able to love the woman based on his experiences and  the fact that he recognizes his wrongs and is trying to be better. The energy that he speaks sounds angry and if the listener is not careful they will miss the pain.  The words that are repeated and are the tag lines, if you will, that stick out in my mind are:

“Just gonna stand there
And watch me burn
But that’s alright
Because I like
The way it hurts
Just gonna stand there
And hear me cry
But that’s alright
Because I love
The way you lie
I love the way you lie
I love the way you lie”

How many of us can speak and write and express so eloquently about past wrongs? How many can then change the course of their lives by an action that requires hard work?

Eminem’s words are powerful.  These words in “Watch me Burn” tells me that as a society and as media we sit in our offices and nowadays that could be an office in a building, in a park, in the car or in a bedroom propped up on pillows and write and broadcast and watch people self-destruct and report it as news. As of  late, the media and the public have an insatiable appetite for watching destruction about Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, Bobbi Kristina Brown and now Charlie Sheen.   Does anyone remember reading about Roman gladiators fighting wild animals, men fighting men, lynching of black people, bull fighting, public hangings of “criminals”  back when the west was wild? If so, the way in which we watch these celebrities self-destruct is similar, to me at least, of a family gathering together in any arena or park on a beautiful Saturday afternoon with a crowd of other like-minded-fun-loving-sanctimonious group who just wanna have fun and we eat, laugh, talk, watch and gossip about nothing and everything and watch as collective/cannibal as our fellow human is decimated, humiliated and killed by our inaction and lack of passion.

The keepers of the keys to the stadium are us.  The time is now to say “hell no” and I ain’t gonna take it anymore!  How can I as parent teach and model good behavior if all that our children see,  hear, taste and smell begins with a  teaspoon of  hate.  The celebrities are just a microcosm of the lengths we will go to, to avoid our own inadequacies.  We look at young adults addicted to drugs and to alcohol and addicted to limelight at any cost and we do nothing.  As media we report it and then the spectators read about it, talk about it over and over and over again on every radio and television station, on the internet, streaming on our phones and on the words we see crawling at the bottom of our television or laptop monitor that allow our subconscious brain to absorb this nonsense 24/7.  I am a mother, a parent, a baby boomer, a woman and sister-friend whose brain is on overload.  I remember for about 20 years I messed up. I mean I was productive and successful as far as a child could be until I was thrust into college.  Here I thought I knew everything.  I didn’t have a-tenth of the amount of money that these kids we report about have and yet I managed to pretty much self-destruct amid the opportunities that were right in front of my then poor self-image.  I realize that as children we make mistakes and as adult Sheen is witness to, if not corrected – confusion continues.  Had it not been for the grace of God and in the spirit of  2 police officers I would have completely spiraled down and perhaps not been here in this present form to write.  To be able to recognize your own self-worth is hard enough when it is just you and a few people watching; however imagine what it must be like for your every waking minute to be broadcast, all of your missteps talked about and analyzed, what would it be like if the things that you had done one night as a youngster were broadcast over and over?  Could you take it, would you take it and how long before you cracked?  I have no clue; however as adults and as keepers of the keys we do have a sense of what it takes to get to who we are and yet we continue to perpetuate and report and destroy the young and sometimes the old as we don’t allow them time to grow up. Money does not instantly make you smart and allow you to make wise decisions.  As Oprah has said about having a lot of money, what it does is give you opportunity.  Depending on your upbringing opportunity can be manifested in many ways – both healthy and not so.

Words are powerful.  The manner that we speak and the way we speak brings emphasis to the words by our action or lack thereof.  As a society of grown folks we should really be ashamed.  We have all crowded into the arena of public opinion as people who look in the rearview mirror and underestimate their ability to back into the space and bump the car right next to it and drive away – we, this moral minded collective not-in-my backyard-public should just be ashamed.

Can we just allow these people the courtesy to grow up and sit back as Eminem has done and reflect and say, I know I did wrong and I will do better and if you let me I will be better. Stop “watching me burn” and help me.

 As a woman on the road to retiring at 55, I am blessed to be able to say that I have benefited from this reflection and thank God that my public was just my circle of friends and family who have the ability to love me when I am up and love me when I am down.   Retiring at 55 is a good thing.

Yolande Barial
Your Words Project: Speaking on Purpose

Seeks to Enrich the Lives of Women through Spoken and Written Word.
510-589-6445–Children-are-a-parental-responsibility? %20


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