I’m not usually one to chime in on global controversy flooding every media outlet within our current space time continuum.  This week, however, I have observed myriad comments around the recent VMA performance by the young Miley Cyrus and, over the last few days I have pondered the voluminous ripple effect. Today, I am feeling compelled to share my perspective through another lens.


What I am feeling an inner urge to point out is that a person’s outward behavior (child or adult) is a direct reflection of what is happening inside them.  As we move from infancy into toddlerhood, and from childhood youth into our teenage years and beyond, we become imprinted with, and we adapt to, the thoughts, ideas, beliefs and behaviors of our environment.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or a well-educated psychologist to recognize that a child who is sticking out her tongue is demonstrating her need to express her pent up emotion.  Someone who feels the need to dress and express themselves through overt and obnoxious ways is really saying that they are desperate for attention, affection, appreciation and acceptance.  More than likely, these fundamental human needs are in lack and, as a result, people will outwardly seek that which they need. This should come as no surprise, as we are taught all of our lives to seek these things from other people, material possessions and society.


The other side of the coin is that performances of every kind are specifically designed to generate an effect.  Many famous artists and performers have staged outrageous acts as a way to stir up some sort of reaction.  Hollywood has learned to capitalize on this and, in many cases, ridiculous performances and insanely wild behavior is a highly encouraged publicity stunt to generate a buzz and get people talking.  And it works – every time.



I am in no way advocating – or not advocating – the young Miley’s public performance.  Whatever your moral opinion may be, it is clear that she is simply expressing herself in the only way she knows how, and it just so happens that many folks are finding it offensive.  Period.  That is the observation.  When we can move beyond judgement of others and recognize that the cause of their behavior goes much deeper, we can move into a space of loving compassion for what that person may (or may not) be going through.


Here is another painfully obvious and, for some, uncomfortable observation.  It’s not too far off the mark to suggest that when we perceive others as performing in ways that aren’t in alignment with our own moral beliefs, it provides something to focus our attention on others rather than honestly looking at the areas in our own lives where, perhaps, we are falling short in some way.  Notice that I continue to use the word “we” as this commentary pertains to all of us, myself included.


Moving beyond the latest Hollywood buzz around Miley, it’s important to note that the world we live in is indicative of what is going on in our own minds, which is then acted out in our behavior.  This has been true since the beginning of time and is marked by the historical events that define our evolutionary progress, if progress is what you would call it.


I am in the business of unfolding potential rather than perpetuating melodrama, both personally and professionally.  I believe there is tremendous value in turning our pointed finger back toward ourselves and asking the questions “how have I possibly contributed to this type of socially acceptable behavior through my own words and actions?”, “what can I learn from this so that I can make better choices in my own life?”, and “how can I contribute to the solution – even if in the smallest way – rather than project my judgements on everyone and everything around me?”.


In lieu of showcasing our disdain and touting our disapproval of others, let’s ask ourselves what we can do in our own lives, our own families, our own circle of friends, within our companies, communities and globally, to contribute to the healing of our youth and the unfolding of the highest potential.


When you find yourself looking down on another, I hope that it’s because your extending your hand to help them back up.  I believe the world would be a better place if we can all begin to come from a place of collaboration, support, inspiration and empowerment.  This is my commitment to myself, to you and to our planet.