Why We’re Fascinated By Other People’s Drama

Why We’re Fascinated By Other People’s Drama

Everyone loves a good scandal, or so it seems by what we see on the news and social media. There is a near-constant flow of stories about celebrities, politicians, or just people in our communities whose actions have brought about scandal and disgrace.

And it’s not just real-life scandals that we find fascinating. Some of the most popular TV shows of recent years have been about people doing really bad things. The Sopranos, Mad MenBreaking Bad, and House of Cards all feature anti-heroes – and we can’t get enough of their stories.

Recently on St. Joseph’s Workshop, Father Matthew Spencer, OSJ was talking about an interview in which British Prime Minister Theresa May was asked, “What’s the naughtiest thing you’ve ever done?” and he reflected on why we are so interested in the bad things that other people do. He said:

“We have this strange fascination in our world, we have this strange fascination in our country, with wanting to know the dirty laundry of everyone else around us. It’s how social media thrives. It’s how daytime television gets its viewers, it’s how all of our media seemingly operates – by focusing on the dirty laundry and focusing on the drama of life.

And when you come down to it, I think there’s a reason why that’s gripping for people. It’s because we can all identify with it, can’t we? We can all identify with sin, and hurt, and being hurt, and hurting other people.

And this is why, when Jesus came down to earth, He came not to give us a new political system, He came not to give us a philosophy. He came to give us forgiveness. He came to heal us from the worst things we’ve ever done. He wants to wipe the slate clean.

And He begins by healing the root cause of that problem, which was original sin and that separation from God the Father, which happened so long ago. He heals that, and then He starts to heal the hearts of each one of us, and the personal sins that we’ve been involved in.

But it requires our participation. It requires our contrition, and it requires out repentance. We can’t air that on TV and think that’s somehow going to resolve it.

God bless Theresa May. God looks upon her with love, as He looks upon all of His children. And He says that you don’t need to get out there on TV and talk about this. What you need to do is get yourself to a confessional to talk about this. What you need to do is find a priest to talk about this. What you need to do is come back to the loving embrace of the Father.

Come back to the One who can heal the deepest wounds of your heart. The One who can heal all of the strife and the difficulty that you’re experiencing. The One who can reconcile you to Joy and Love itself.

Listen to the full reflection below:

St. Joseph’s Workshop airs weekdays from 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. Pacific on Immaculate Heart Radio.