Some people love drama way too much. That’s why it has made millions for the television networks. In foregone days, soap operas were some of the most watched shows on television. Today, they’ve been replaced by reality TV. Drama may be entertaining to watch when you have no skin in the game, but it poisons a home. Drama turns a bad situation into a much worse situation. It escalates hurt feelings into bitterness. And, at times, it turns misinformation into a story of slanderous lies – certainly a scenario that ruins relationships.
In my observation, there are two reasons people tend to stir up drama, whether they are dramatic themselves or just enjoy feeding the fury. 1) Some people have difficulty moving on when they are offended. Instead of weighing the cost of acting on their feelings, their first impulse is to start talking, accusing, or retaliating. 2) Some people use drama to advance a personal agenda. The agenda may pertain to their position in society, their family, workplace, or some other societal setting. But regardless of one’s motive, unnecessary drama creates carnage, not solutions to problems. Drama has two enemies, and in this case, these enemies will be your friend:
- Truth. The drama stops when people learn the facts and deal with the facts instead of conjured up imaginations or ideas of what could have happened. Actually, the drama stops when people start the process of looking for the facts. When someone approaches you with their story and you suggest that they confront the source instead of you or anyone else, the drama just ended. When you learn to talk to the person who knows the facts instead of others who might find the story fascinating, then you made the choice to seek clarity rather than create drama. Truth and drama don’t mix well because drama’s purpose is not to initially discover the truth. Drama’s purpose is to advance an agenda or feed a particular feeling.
- Love. Feelings of retaliation are natural, but natural feelings are not necessarily holy. Spreading the news to gain support for your feelings or advance your opinion springs from selfishness, not love. Love is patient; love is not insistent on its own way; love is not resentful; and love assumes the best in people. The love chapter in the Bible (I Corinthians 13) actual guides people in living a simple life, not a dramatic one. And that seemingly uninteresting life reaps much more personal happiness and personal relationships than the dramatic life.
As this relates to teaching and parenting, don’t get sucked into the drama. There should be an open environment of trust and communication among parents, teachers, church youth workers, and other adults who work together to train children. Resist the urge to overreact to a seemingly shocking story. Instead, search for the truth, and search in a loving way. Let’s refrain from letting TV drama influence the way we live in the real world.