Will Smith: For the Love of Your Spouse

By Sherry Ann Bruckner, J.D.

What do you say when you feel someone disrespects your spouse?  

In what some call, “the slap heard around the world,” the Oscar’s ceremony takes a bit of detour when  Will Smith approaches the stage and slaps Chris Rock. Let’s back up a few moments. Chris Rock  remarks about looking forward to seeing Jada Pinkett Smith as “GI Jane 2.” For those of us watching  TV, we see Will sitting in the audience smiling. Then we see Jada not smiling. Then we see the slap.  

What happens from one moment to the next? Was Will hiding his true feelings behind that first smile,  or did he begin to think it not funny when he saw Jada’s face? Choosing the meaning of any given  moment may be a discussion for another day.  

Today, I wish to reflect on Will’s words about love, and what it means to act from a place of love.  What does love look like? 

What is the loving thing to do when someone you love has been hurt?  

Do you put your arm around your loved one in comfort? Do you slap the person you think caused the  pain? Could you comfort your spouse and engage in a conversation from a place of love? 

Let’s be real. During the Oscar’s you are not going to engage in conversation with the host. Could you  do what parents around the world do, give a look, shake your head from left to right, mouth “no,” and  have the conversation later?  

Then, what does that conversation look like? 1. Be clear about the impact, i.e., how you feel about  hearing those words, 2. Be clear what matters to you, i.e., what needs you have, and, 3. Ask for the  specific behavior you seek going forward.  

Before approaching the conversation, notice what matters to you and what you seek. If you wish for  respect, are you showing up in a respectful way? If you value love, are you demonstrating love?  

Your choices are not just silence or violence. When you choose silence, you sacrifice personal peace.  When you choose violence, you sacrifice the peace of those around you (and often sacrifice personal  peace too). You may choose true peace, which recognizes your human needs and the needs of those  around you.  

When you gain clarity on your own values, and the results you wish to create in your personal and  professional life, you more easily recognize if you are acting in alignment.  

Valuing love does not restrict you from acting from a place of love for just one person. You may  demonstrate love for your spouse, your fellow humans, and yourself at the same time. It may simply  look a little different for each.  

Peace is neither silent nor violent.  

What does acting from a place of peace and love mean to you? Who are you willing to be?

author

Sherry Ann Bruckner

A graduate of Hamline University’s College of Liberal Arts and William Mitchell College of Law,  licensed attorney Sherry Ann Bruckner practiced civil and family law for 20 years before transitioning  to her full-time ADR practice in 2019.  An experienced mediator, Sherry has served as a neutral on matters involving bias,… MORE

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