Music Discussions

So What

September 2008

Main Point of Discussion: Dealing with hurt… in a way that doesn’t hurt more in the long run!

    IMPORTANT NOTE TO LEADER ABOUT DISCERNMENT: We at The Source for Youth Ministry believe that certain elements in our youth culture can serve as good discussion jump starters with students. At the same time, we would never hope to introduce a student to a negative influence that they haven’t already encountered. This balance is a delicate one.

    In our experience, most students, churched and unchurched, keep pretty current with music and music videos. Thanks to YouTube, and iTunes, the most popular music videos and songs are free to access only a click away.

    This music video is not in good taste. The attitude is horrible, there’s mild language (although many sites bleep it out) and other objectionable content. But understand: this discussion is about that attitude and content. Since so many of our kids watch this, we think it’s worth talking about. But we need you to watch the video first and make that decision for yourselves. In addition, if you work with church kids, you may want to let parents know ahead of time that you’ll be showing this video and talking about it.

The Music Video: “So What”

Pink’s “So What” is a familiar song to most students. The question is… have they really weighed out the message it's communicating?

Today’s youth are taught to just react, disregarding the consequences. Their role models react this way, so why should teens act any different?

So how should we react when bad things happen? This discussion will use the song as a springboard to talk about biblical truths regarding how we might better react to hurt.

We suggest you talk with your tech person(or a techy friend who is computer savvy) and have him/her help you prepare to project this video on a big screen for the whole group to see. You can purchase the video for $1.99 or watch it free on many locations like this one.

Introducing the Music Video—SAY THIS:
“I definitely can’t endorse the message of this video, nor do I think it’s a good thing for you to be randomly watching videos like this because they contain subtle messages that you guys are definitely bright enough to pick up on. Let’s look at some of the subtle messages in this video, and then weigh them with what we know to be best for us in the long run.”


Large Group questions—SAY THIS:

We just heard a lot of attitude in this song.

  1. What are some of the messages you heard from this song?
  2. What positive messages do you observe from this song? (perhaps the decision to not get walked all over?)
  3. What negative messages do you observe from this song?
  4. Let me read a small portion of the lyrics:

      Song Lyrics: “So What”
      I guess i just lost my husband
      I don't know where he went
      So i'm gonna drink my money
      I'm not gonna pay his rent (Nope)
      I got a brand new attitude
      And i'm gonna wear it tonight
      I wanna get in trouble
      I wanna start a fight

      Na Na Na Na Na Na Na
      I wanna start a fight
      Na Na Na Na Na Na Na
      I wanna start a fight

      So so what?
      I'm still a rock star
      I got my rock moves
      And i don't need you
      And guess what
      I'm having more fun
      And now that we're done
      I'm gonna show you tonight
      I'm alright, I'm just fine
      And you're a tool
      So so what?
      I am a rockstar
      I got my rock moves
      And i don't want you tonight

  5. In the lyrics she says she has a brand new attitude and she’s gonna wear it tonight. Describe this new attitude…
  6. What can happen if we adopt this kind of attitude?
  7. She said that she wants to get into trouble, wants to get into a fight, and she wants to “show you I’m alright.” But is it true that she's alright? If yes, why? If no, why not?

Transition Statement—to Divide Into Small Groups: Pink obviously is reacting to some kind of hurt in this video. Many think this song and video is about her divorce from X-Games competitor, Carey Hart (who makes cameos in the video!). Regardless, she is in pain, and she demonstrates one way that we can react to pain:

  • Picking fights

  • Becoming destructive

  • Drinking

  • Lying to herself… “I’m fine, I don’t need you.”

  • Becoming incredibly angry

We’ve all faced pain in this world. And some of us might feel just like Pink does in this video. The question is simple: is this how we should respond when we’re hurt? Or let me ask it another way: how can we deal with hurt in a way that doesn’t cause more hurt in the long run?

Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.

CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.

Discussion Questions:

  1. AROUND THE CIRCLE: Let’s go around the circle, share our names, and anything we like to do for fun.

  2. AROUND THE CIRCLE: Now let’s each share something we do when we’re upset. (Example- hit a pillow, draw, turn up music really loud…)
  3. ASK A FEW: What are some of the crazy things that we witnessed Pink do in the video? (driving a lawnmower drunk down the street, vandalism, assault and battery…)
  4. ASK A FEW: What are some of the consequences that we did NOT see in the video that could have happened as a result of her actions? (getting arrested, lawsuits, fines)
  5. ASK A FEW: If Pink were arrested, sued, or fined thousands of dollars for her rampage, do you think this would cause her more relief, or more hurt?
  6. Read the Following Passage of Scripture:

      Galatians 5:13-15
      13 You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. 14 The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

  7. ASK SOMEONE: What phrase sums up “the entire law”? (love your neighbor as yourself)
  8. ASK A FEW: What does it mean to love your neighbor as yourself?
  9. ASK SOMEONE: What does the last verse say will happen if we keep biting and devouring each other?
  10. ASK SOMEONE: How does this apply to the video we just saw?
  11. Read the Following Passage of Scripture:

      Matthew 5:21-24
      21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca, ' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell.

      23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.

    Then Say This: This passage is interesting. Jesus is talking to some of the religious people of the day that really knew their scriptures. They knew that it wasn’t good to murder, but they had no problem hating others. They had a rule against saying one mean thing, but knew that you could just say it another way. Basically, these people were hateful and mean, but were still obeying the “letter of the law.”Jesus spoke out against that kind of hypocrisy. He wanted to make it clear that it wasn’t okay to walk around holding grudges and stewing hatred in our hearts.

  12. ASK A FEW: Why do you think Jesus spoke out against this kind of attitude?
  13. ASK SOMEONE: In verses 23 and 24, someone is about to worship God, but realizes they have a grudge against another person. What does Jesus tell us to do?
  14. ASK A FEW: Why is this so important?
  15. ASK A FEW: How does this attitude contrast with what we saw in the video?
  16. Read the Following Passage of Scripture:

      Proverbs 22:24, 25
      Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.

  17. ASK A FEW: The passage tells us that we shouldn’t hang out with hot-tempered people because their influence might “ensnare” us. How could this happen?
  18. ASK A FEW: Music videos didn’t exist when this psalm was written. Do you think that we could be ensnared by music videos?
  19. Heading Toward the Wrap Up…

  20. AROUND THE CIRCLE: What's one thing you can do this week to help you strive toward self-control and reconciliation?

Pink’s song is catchy and it’s obviously fun to listen to, judging by its popularity. The question is: is it true?

Maybe Pink knows the answer herself. Maybe the truth isn’t the most popular message to put in a song like this. After all, no one wants to hear about the consequences of our behavior, right?

The fact is, when we develop a bad attitude and act out in anger like this, there are consequences.

The key is plugging into sources that remind of this truth, and avoiding the sources that ensnare us into acting out contrary to what we know to be right and best for us in the long run.

Let’s pray as we close our time together. And as I pray I want you to ask yourself three questions:

  1. How can I react to hurt so I don’t hurt myself more in the long run?

  2. What venue can I plug into that helps me react appropriately?

  3. What arena ensnares me to act out contrary to what I know is right and best for me in the long run–and how can I avoid it?

Close in Prayer

by Jonathan McKee

Jonathan McKee
Jonathan McKee, president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of numerous youth ministry books including the brand new 10-Minute Talks, and the award winning books Do They Run When They See You Coming? and Getting Students to Show Up. He speaks and trains at camps, conferences, and events across North America., and provides free resources for youth workers internationally on his website,


Jonathan McKee

Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Guy's Guide to FOUR BATTLES Every Young Man Must Face; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.


  1. Dianne
    January 31, 2011 at 12:00 am

    This discussion is so relevant to what teens are experiencing today- anger. Teens don’t know how to respond when they feel angry. How wonderful to dip into this scriptural truth in contrast to how "not to do it."

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