It can happen to anyone. One day you’re on top and the next day you’re scraping the bottom of the proverbial popularity barrel. By now, anyone who is alive and ever watches cooking on television is aware of what happened recently to jovial Paula Deen. Inappropriate racist remarks stripped her of her Food Network empire within 24 hours of the information becoming public. While I’m not an avid viewer of her programs, I was a little shocked that the butter queen could be toppled so swiftly. Now, if we’re talking Howard Stern, I’d applaud and say, fire his …. well, you know.

          And aren’t we just the judges sitting pretty in our black robes (the girls with lace collars, of course), passing judgment on a woman who, like most of us, does something stupid and pays severely for it. Yes, our mistakes aren’t usually in full view of millions of fans and viewers.

          The remarks that Ms. Deen made were in 2007. Say what? So, this wasn’t an overnight thing. She saw it coming, probably even was thinking of it when she spoke to Oprah last year and said something like, “I keep having a bad dream and when I wake up this [arms out to encompass her food empire] was all gone.”

          While I certainly don’t condone what she said back in 2007, I do feel a huge amount of compassion for her error. This week’s guest blog by Rev. Jane Beach talks about mistakes and how we can grow from them (Mistakes – Growing Tools).  I’ll bet this incident will be a “…divine stepping stone,” as Rev. Beach discusses. Ms. Deen will learn and learn and learn from all that happens around this. In the meantime, I’m feeling her anguish. I’ve done stupid things too and also felt that pain. I told myself at the time not to let one incident define who I was as a person. I hope she won’t either.

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