Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thoughts on "The Hills"

So Heidi and Spencer are actually getting married (...on the show. In real life, they're already married). Besides being the event that is sure to bring about the apocalypse, their impending nuptials also have spurred Heidi into a more active attempt to reconcile with her estranged former best friend, Lauren. For those of you who need a quick catch-up, Heidi and Lauren were best friends until Heidi starting seeing Spencer. Spencer, who, for his own part hates Lauren, spread a rumor that Lauren and a friend appeared together in a sex tape. This prompted an ultimatum from Lauren to Heidi, "It's Spencer or me." Heidi went with Spencer. Now that she's faced with the prospect of the biggest day of her life without her best friend, Heidi asks Spencer to call Lauren to apologize. Spencer's response (I am not making this up) is, "I've never apologized to anyone in my life, why would I apologize to her?"

But it's Heidi's response and Spencer's admission that I'd like to talk about today. Heidi says, "You've got to be the bigger person," who which Spencer admits, "But I'm not the bigger person." Ah, Spencer. Truer words were never spoken. Spencer ends up calling Lauren and offering her a real, and actually unconditional, apology. We know from the previews for next week's episode (the one hour season finale!) that Lauren does go to the wedding.

Spencer has "never apologized to anyone" because he thinks he's never wrong. Why, then, should he apologize? Heidi almost seems to play into this when she tells him to be the bigger person. It's only when you're in the right that you need to be the bigger person. But all of a sudden, Spencer's true nature dawns on him: He's NOT the bigger person. He's in the wrong, in so many ways. I think his statement is about his whole life, not his invention and spreading of the sex tape story. When he realizes that he's not the bigger person, that he is the same sort of jerk (i.e. "sinner") that he sees Lauren to be, he can actually call her and apologize, something he's never had the courage to do, ever before! Then, some measure of healing can take place. Lauren comes to the wedding.

What ends up happening to us when we think we're "the bigger person?" What good can come out of admitting that we're not? What is in your heart when you apologize to someone? What about an apology leads to healing? What kinds of apologies don't?


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  2. Thanks, Nick, for this insightful post, and especially the cadre of insightful question it ends with. As one who tends to think of himself as "the bigger person" (except, of course, when standing next to you...:) Spencer's admission is pretty convicting. In many ways, it encapsulates the key to Christian discipleship - the honest recognition that we are at fault and in need of forgiveness.

    I think apology is so healing because it leads to forgiveness, and forgiveness to being reconciled - reconciled to ourselves, to others, and above all, to God.

  3. I think the most important part of the apology is the sincerity that is attached. You can tell a big difference between someone who says "I'm sorry" but really isn't and someone who says it and truly means it. I think the best apologies are sometimes those left unsaid, but rather shown with loving actions. Just a thought...By the way, I can't wait to see what happens on the finale. I just hope I remember to watch it since it is on Sunday and not Monday!

  4. It's true that you can tell in an instant if an apology isn't genuine. That's why it was so weird that Spencer's actually DID seem honest. We expected fakery from him and got something else. I always think of Jesus calling the Pharisees "white-washed tombs" when I think of fake apologies: beautiful on the outside but full of death on the inside.

    That's the beauty of DVR...set it to record, and you don't have to remember when the show's on!


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