The line separating good and evil passes, not through states, not through classes, nor between political parties…but right through every human heart-and through all human hearts – Aleksandr Solzhenitysn.
Words surely have energy or better put, incredible power. As a professor of philosophy puts it: “Someone can, with 10 words spoken in 10 seconds, destroy a relationship that’s lasted for 10 years.” Study suggested people typically have more than 6,000 thoughts per day, according to a 2020 study done with 184 participants with an average age of 29.4 using brain imaging scans to track new thoughts started while participants were either resting or watching a movie.
Every thought generates a new “worm”, which possibly was what happened at the 94th Academy awards also known as the Oscars, when “Chris Rock was slapped by actor Will Smith, after a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved hair, hair loss, otherwise known as alopecia, a condition that can affect the scalp or entire body. The condition can be a result of heredity, hormonal changes, medical conditions, or a normal part of ageing.”
As a coaching psychologist that’s seen the effect an emotional scar can have on a person or people, I know what happened to Jada Pinkett Smith, firstly, definitely, would have an impact on her emotional health and same goes for Chris Rock. Believe it or not, those who felt taking on Will Smith is the right thing to do, the truth is, sadly, they were all scarred emotionally; hence my title for this piece, “O Scar!”
There’s a psychology to scars, same way a physical scar on the body has an impact on one’s emotional state, same way an abuse in public can have an emotional dent on a person that turns up in future; for traumatic experiences of our pasts are not past, they’re resident in our brain, mind and body, which was why Will Smith’s physical abuse against Chris Rock surfaced, a deep trauma from his past that’s shared in his book. “I always had this sense of being a coward because I watched my father beat up my mother and I didn’t do anything and for a 9 year-old, it’s hard to break that programming. But I’ve done a lot of work,” he wrote. “I would say that I’ve almost completely purged and purified that negative perception of myself. I feel good about my life.”
He further said that his father, who died in 2016, was abusive towards his mother, and that dynamic affected him for years. Smith tried to bury those painful memories, and he never discussed them with his mother until he decided to write his book. But many thought the slap was a joke, even at the Oscars, as the room was silent. Did that just happen?
According to the Los Angele Times, Chris Rock backstage – who, according to a source close to the comedian, was not aware that Jada Pinkett Smith had struggled with alopecia when he joked about her hairstyle – still seemed shaken by what happened, even as he tried to laugh it off. “I just got punched in the face by Muhammed Ali and didn’t get a scratch.”
Learning that hugs were eventually exchanged was a good starting point, then the public apology by Will Smith for his actions was a step in the right direction as he displayed a lack of control, which was triggering and retraumatizing for many as it was seen around the world. And which brings us to one important reality, when we make our mental health minor, sooner than later, it would become a major matter like we saw with Will Smith smiting another black man. As of the time of writing this article, Will Smith, who had checked himself into a celebrity rehab clinic to deal with his stress after he resigned his membership of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, indicated accepting any other consequences that management deemed appropriate.
Here’s the reflective question I will leave you with; and you are welcome to approach us at African Institute of Mind, a mental health advocacy, support and treatment organisation that exists to support Africans mind our minds, one mind at a time. Have you ever experienced an ‘attack’ or fear, anxiety, or panic? (pour your thoughts around these questions in your journal) let us support you, your team with mental health first aid or a psychological first aid design, so as to identify how to respond or when to recommend mental health care. Everyone needs to get mental health MOT. The same way we take our cars for service, our mental health and stress levels should be checked. For without better brains we cannot have better lives.
Peace and abundant blessings of health to you, me, our rise and flourishing!
business a.m. commits to publishing a diversity of views, opinions and comments. It, therefore, welcomes your reaction to this and any of our articles via email: email@example.com