Category Archives: Empathy

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith Red Table Talk – Thoughts on Her “Entanglement” and What to Do if You Find Yourself in the Same Situation

When it comes to celebrity gossip, sometimes it grabs my attention but often times I do not know what is going on unless it makes some sort of headline news. For whatever reason, I kept seeing headlines regarding the relationship status of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith within the past 48 hours which lead me to do a little of my own research and find out what this whole “Red Table Talk” of theirs was all about. I could not tell you much about Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith other than I know they have been married since the 90’s and seemed to be going strong although based on the recent headlines, I found out otherwise. More specifically, years ago she had an affair with August Alsina who is a singer and happens to be a friend of their son. The truth of the matter is, things might appear great on the surface but you truly do not ever know what goes on behind closed doors. Their relationship has proven to be an epic example of this. I realize their business is no one’s business but at the same time, they came out publicly and recorded their conversation to let people know what was going on between them. This leaves room to analyze the situation in which I will point out some things I picked up from what I watched. Again, I do not know all the details of their relationship and of course many details are kept private but I can at the very least make some observations of what I did learn from their recent discussion on Jada’s Red Table Talk which is a podcast you can find on Facebook.

The reason I find that this is worth bringing to the table (in this case written about in my blog) is because I would not categorize this as “Oh this only happens in celebrity relationships.” Whether in a stage of separation or not, basically an affair occurred and this unfortunately is quite common within personal relationships and even more sadly within marriages. I will point out some things that stood out to me from their public discussion and then share how I would handle the same situation.

Some quotes from Jada Pinkett Smith:

“I got into a different kind of entanglement with August.” – I am sorry but is “entanglement” a code word in 2020 for affair or relationship or just what exactly? That in and of itself is distasteful to me because we are adults here. Can we just call a spade a spade and just simply be straightforward and say, “I had an affair with August?” I do not understand why she cannot be more upfront and just say this out loud. Funny enough, Will Smith tries to call her out on that term and she still uses it!

“I just wanted to feel good.” – Jada justifies her actions for wanting to feel good. I understand if there is any type of friction or hardship in your current relationship/marriage, then you are going to rely on other sources for providing you that happiness or a “feel good” feeling. However, starting essentially a new relationship or as she labeled it a “friendship” with someone of the opposite sex is just a recipe for disaster on many levels. I am sure it started out innocently but the problem is it allowed her to get too vulnerable which later lead to an affair. By that, I mean both emotional and physical cheating, just to put all the facts on the table.

“I learned so much about myself.” – Jada makes this statement but does not really elaborate on what exactly she learned about herself and more importantly, their relationship. If someone told me they cheated and then followed it with, “I learned so much about myself” — it is like, “Oh okay, that is nice you learned more about yourself but do you care about how that impacts our relationship?” Which leads me to the point that I have a major issue with the fact that NOT ONCE did she ever take ownership for her actions or apologize for the mistakes she has made along the way (aka having an affair). This shows to me a lack of empathy which is a huge red flag because that means she is unaware of how her actions affect other people and in this case her husband.

“One of the things that I am deeply grateful for between you and I is that we really have gotten to that place of unconditional love.” – I would not say this is “unconditional love.” Maybe on Will’s end because despite everything that has happened, he is willing to stay and make it work. (To be honest, I do not even think I could call this unconditional love but rather a lack of love towards himself which I will further explain later). For Jada, I do not think her actions have really proven that she has an unconditional love towards her husband. I would say a lack of respect towards him and their marriage, yes. Perhaps if she made some type of an apology or had any hint of remorse, I could reconsider my viewpoint but that was not the case based on what she said publicly.

Okay so now what? What to do if you are in a similar situation? If it were me:

Personally, my perception of self tells me that I deserve the very best, I have a lot to offer to the right person, and I am a hot commodity (lol I know that might come off a smidge conceited but when I say that, I am just saying that I can attract someone new if I really wanted to). So if within a committed relationship, a person is betraying my trust, not empathetic towards my feelings, and has no respect for their relationship with me, how is it possible for me to stay with that person? For one, that is not what I define as a commitment. Furthermore, it is in COMPLETE contradiction of my perception of self and what I want to attract in my life. A guy having a sidepiece (temporary or not) in addition to me? THAT IS A HUGE HELL NO!!! I am all or nothing with most things in life, especially my relationships. If someone cannot provide me their all, then I want nothing.

At the end of the day, I love myself greater than anyone I could ever choose to be with. I generate my own personal happiness with or without someone. People need to get in that place with themselves where they are completely in acceptance and love with self and their life. That is not an easy place to get to for most people but like anything in life, you work on it! You work on bettering yourself, you work on focusing on what brings you true happiness, and you work towards your life goals.

Walking away is never easy, especially when a good length of time is invested (in their case, 25 years)! However, when you love yourself and know what your self worth is, it is a rather easy decision to want to move on. By settling, you are settling on mediocrity and that just doesn’t cut it for me. I strive for excellence, not mediocrity. If you set the bar high, you will not be in a place of settling for anything less than what you authentically desire.

Although time can heal most situations and so can therapy, I do not think I could really fully recover from someone cheating on me and have any inclination to “make it work” with that person. Those actions cannot be taken back and the emotional pain endured just does not make it worth it for me to stick around. I could maybe keep things cordial but ultimately, the final decision would be to let the person go and create a brighter future for myself.

All Lives Matter – More Awareness and Empathy is Needed in This World

Since the horrifying and inhumane death of George Floyd a little over a week ago, it has caused a tremendous amount of pain, outrage, and sadness across the United States and around the world. While there has been peaceful protesting to bring more awareness to the underlying issue of inequality, there has also been an escalation of destruction that has struck major American cities in the form of looting, arson, and acts of violence–mainly directed towards the police although it has also impacted innocent bystanders. I recognize that not all the riots and protests are in direct correlation with the death of George Floyd; however, it is clear that his death has stirred many intense feelings due to the common theme of injustice without consequences more often than not towards the African American community. The truth of the matter is, racism still very much exists in this country yet no one wants to talk about it. It may be an uncomfortable subject matter for many people so often times it is an afterthought or consequently ignored altogether. Now more than ever before, I think it is necessary that people speak up and take the time to have these open discussions. We as people and as a society need to empathize with the lives that are wrongfully taken away and bring awareness to the problems we are facing. We need solutions because staying silent is not the answer as silence is a form of indifference and no real change can come from that. I am not in support of violence or acts of terror but I understand where it is coming from. People are finding ways to react by rebelling and many are left at their breaking points because this has happened way too many times now. Just a few months prior, we had the death of Ahmaud Arbery which also left me outraged and heartbroken. It does not matter what the color of your skin is to know the difference between what is right and what is wrong. I do not have to be an African American to feel the pain that they feel. I might never fully be able to understand what it feels like to be discriminated against on a daily basis or have to fear my life is on the line when confronted by a police officer but I do recognize that this is not acceptable and it should no longer be tolerated.

While many preach “black lives matter,” I think the better message should be, ALL lives matter.” We do not need to keep continuing to divide ourselves based on race and other factors to set us apart from one another. We are all human beings, so I firmly believe that all lives matter and that should be the mantra we preach together as one.