17 May 2013

Sacrifices and Scapegoats

The last thing I expected to get from a Gossip Girl episode was deep thoughts about life and relationships. It's the episode where Dan reveals to everyone that the book he wrote was not only by him, but about them. The reactions depicted in the show were very real and I'm sure that I'd react similarly to that kind of news. The thing is, he used his creative license to take reality and change it. Dan wrote about the world he lived in, but he emphasized the bad. 

He took a very realistic view of the Upper East Side world.

Obviously, he wrote as he needed to and he took a hit from the exaggerations in his writing. His friends felt betrayed and his father felt as if he were a waste. Blair's engagement was almost ruined and Nate took offense to the fact that he didn't even get a full character in the book. On the surface, this whole episode is full of tense moments and irony. Taking a deeper look, though, I think we can all learn from Dan's experience.

The thing is, there are going to be times in our lives where we're going to have to act as a scapegoat. We are going to have to put ourselves out there to be slaughtered in order to advance who we are. Whether artistically or academically, these moments will show us who are true friends are. They're the ones who will understand that their embarrassment or failure (for lack of better words) in the eyes of someone else is what allows for others to progress. This fact is deep and terrifying, but oh so true.

Just think, even Jesus acted as a scapegoat. He had to be shamed and embarrassed for the continuation of mankind. His sacrifice led to bigger things in the scheme of the world. In the case of Gossip Girl, the superficial Upper East Siders had to be sacrificed for Dan. In the big picture, who they are portrayed as in an artistic book that only a select audience will read, it doesn't really matter. And, that's something I'll have to remember when I'm put in either position: the scapegoat or the killer.

Growing up and advancing in a career or school is something that any person striving for success will have to do. To be on top, someone's got to be taken down. I'm not saying that I'll take personal attacks on people like Dan did, but there will be advances made. American society thrives off of competition and there's no way around it. So, when you are in this situation just remember to think it through. Is the tearing down of one person going to matter in the big scheme of life? Can this be a commensalistic relationship, where one person benefits and the other really doesn't suffer much at all?

I can't tell you how I'll react.
But I pray that it is with grace and poise.