I'm an ardent watcher of ABC's "The Bachelor." And while this isn't something I'm totally proud of, I have an admission to make: I’ve learned something pretty important from watching this season. No, but really.
I can feel your judgment beaming through the computer screen. I get it! Some call it “trash TV,” and others call the whole thing fake. I’m not here to defend the show or what it stands for, but this season has made me realize something.
Every season is pretty much the same. One girl gets more attention than the others, everyone gets fussy, one or two girls are singled out as the “crazies” or the “bullies” of the house, and Chris STILL says, “Ladies, Ben. It's the final rose.”
But let’s go back to the crazies and the bullies. (Yes, I’m about to dissect "The Bachelor." No, I’m not ashamed. Wait for it.)
There are two girls with a bad rep that really stood out to me. Lace and Jubilee. According to the one-on-one interviews, they didn’t get along with the other girls in the house. Lace drank too much, and Jubilee’s social cues were a little off. So, naturally, the girls rallied together and trashed them. Trash-bash-gossip-fest.
However, we come to find out that Lace has extreme insecurity problems, and Jubilee has a rough history, losing her entire family in Haiti. I wondered if the other girls in the house would trash Lace and Jubilee if they knew their struggles.
Then, I started feeling two inches tall. I immediately thought about the times that someone has rubbed me the wrong way — or flat-out wronged me — and I felt justified in talking badly about them. I camouflage my trash talk by saying “I just need to vent” or “I want to make sure I’m not the only that feels this way.” But let’s be honest, would I ever say that stuff to their face? Probably not. I’m saying hurtful, possibly untrue, things about a girl or guy behind their back, and I most likely do not know the full story.
Lace and Jubilee could have walked into the house on the first night and said “Hey, these are my struggles, and I may be tough to love, but please be patient with me.” But people don’t do that. Heck, I don’t do that. So, why should I expect others to fill me in on their shortcomings (of which we all have) or their family history right away?
I don’t know Lace and Jubilee personally, and I know the whole show is edited to pieces; but there is a valuable lesson to be learned whether the events are true or not. I’m positive that scenario has been true in my life multiple times, and that's not okay.
It’s a simple concept: We shouldn’t talk badly about others behind their backs, especially when we don't know what they're going through.
I’ve been trying to work on this personal struggle for some time, though seeing it play out before me on "The Bachelor" made it even clearer. You can roll your eyes. I think it's pretty comical that I walked away from "The Bachelor" with life lessons, too.
While I'm coming at this issue from a light-hearted angle, I think it is a serious problem that a lot of us have written off as acceptable. In fact, it's so serious that the Bible speaks against trash talk at least 24 times.
I'm going to ask that God change my heart. I'm going to try and hold my tongue when others are talking badly about someone behind their back. I'm also going to picture myself on national television trashing a girl that lost her entire family. Maybe that will help you, too.