I hate to sound cynical, but sometimes, perhaps, I can be.
I felt a bit cynical when I wrote about Angus T. Jones’s rant over the sitcom that made him a millionaire, Two and a Half Men, when he labeled it as “filth” despite the fact that his character has been a pivotal part of that “filth” in story lines involving a child coming of age in a home owned by his sex-crazed uncle.
It seemed odd to me, even trying to keep in mind the actor’s newfound religion, that only now, ten seasons in, he’d come to some great awakening about the show’s content: the show is hardly subtle about its sex-infused humor.
And I was a little cynical when a report mentioned almost in passing that the video in which he recorded his testimony just happened to have been shot in his trailer on the Warner Brothers lot where the show is filmed. Talk about looking a gift horse, even a ribald gift horse, in the mouth!
I was particularly cynical when he then issued a statement about his remarks, apologizing to the cast and company of the show, as if he somehow had been gifted with enough discernment to understand the inappropriate nature of the humor around him, but simultaneously had absolutely no hint of a clue about how his remarks might be taken by the very people he’s worked with for literally half his life.
Unnamed sources claim now that Jones will honor his commitment to the show and complete the 10th season — which could be the show’s last, anyway — unless producers ask him to leave because of his remarks. I don’t think it’s likely they will. They tolerated a lot more from former co-star Charlie Sheen before finally removing him from the show.
I’m glad he has religious conviction. I hope he is able to grow in his understanding and relationship with God. I don’t fault him for wanting to do so.
But there’s an important lesson for all of in this: there’s a right way and a wrong way to get on track, particularly when you elevate yourself to a position in which you begin speaking out publicly about what does and doesn’t measure up to other religious views.
We’re all, I think, guilty of doing this the wrong way once in a while.
[right_quote]If we’re going to condemn one path as the wrong one, it’s a lot better if we’re off that path before we condemn it.[/right_quote]Each of us must decide which is the right path and which are the wrong paths in our own life.
Sure, it’s easy to dismiss these apparent missteps as the symptoms of youth and inexperience. But there’s no real magic age at which everyone has all of the answers. Some of us have spent years trying to get from one wrong path to another, ever edging closer to that right path we long for.
Sometimes, that doesn’t take a day or even a week. Sometimes, it takes years to get things straight, even when we are sure we know the direction we should be headed. And even then, sometimes we stumble in the wrong direction along the way.
But we also need to consider those around us whom we are able to influence: if we’re going to condemn one path as the wrong one, it’s a lot better — and the message will reach a lot more people successfully and influence them accordingly — if we’re off that path before we condemn it.
Otherwise, if we label something as wrong, but then keep on doing it anyway, even when it’s the legal thing to do, which message are we truly sending those whom we might be able to influence?