Sunday, July 22, 2012

David Guetta's Titanium Armor

KING SOLOMON FAMOUSLY WROTE in Ecclesiastes that even the most righteous of people succumb to sin. Hard as we may try, remaining perfectly righteous eludes us time after time. So whether you are one of the select few that rarely sins, or one, who like most of us fails with regularity, it is important not only to engage in self-reflection in order to develop better character traits and habits, but also to seek out advice, guidance, and constructive criticism.

If we witness our friends making mistakes or acting inappropriately, we are required by force of Biblical law, (Hocheiach Tochiach Et Amitecha) to rebuke them. If our concerns are shrugged off or ignored, it speaks volumes about their flawed personalities, that they are too proud or arrogant to believe that there are people in this world that may know better.

It is for this reason that I have serious reservations about David Guetta's hit song Titanium (parenthetically, Edon Pinchot advanced to the semi finals of America's Got Talent singing this song). Listen to the words, "You shout it loud, but I can't hear a word you say', I'm criticized, but all your bullets ricochet," and "I'm bulletproof, nothing to lose fire away, fire away." Without equivocating, Guetta seems to indicate that we only need to rely on our own talents without opening ourselves up to any sort of criticism or advice. Simply tune out everyone around us and let their words ricochet off our titanium armor.

I'm well aware of the fact that there are some spiteful people who would like nothing more than to 'cut others down' and wish for their failure. This is particularly true for people in the public arena. It goes without saying that these individuals should be ignored. To them I say, 'ricochet, fire away, fire away. You shoot me down but I won't fall. I am titanium.'

I bet Guetta agrees with me on this point, but his words are misleading. Unfortunately, I have seen so many people refuse help and assistance -- even from their own family. Admittedly, this topic strikes a particularly deeper chord with me because, when I was younger, I was one of those people who ignored the advice and guidance from those closest to me. Perhaps this is why, I am more sensitive and critical of the lyrics than others.

It is always prudent to use a discerning ear when criticized. Open yourself up to those who truly want to help and allow them entry into your life. It will be the greatest decision you will ever make. If you can learn to accept and heed the constructive criticism that you receive from those who care, you hopefully will be able to develop into a person whose behavior is beyond reproach and therefore worthy of Guetta's titanium armor.

Rabbi Joshua Hess is the co-founder of He is an Orthodox rabbi in Linden, New Jersey. Follow him on Twitter at @RabbiHess.