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July 30, 2022

Will Smith’s apology is live.

Yes. There are bigger problems out there—but society, and its mortal gods, learns in many ways. Did Will learn his lesson, and in so doing, help us learn our own?

He sat on it, processed, sounds like he sat in some therapy. While he doesn’t show deep empathy (or maitri), tears, he does sound grounded, genuine to my ear, a bit flat but…heck, I give him credit for showing up, even if on his own time. Frankly, if he’d apologized the next day, and it was uneven, unprocessed, that could have created even more drama and confusion and hurt.

While the internet isn’t happy with Will’s apology, the internet would likely never be happy. I particularly appreciate that he is 1) taking responsibility and 2) not shaming himself. That’s maitri. It takes kindness and gentleness and honesty to be able to own something, and not cause oneself or others further hurt.

And yes. There are bigger problems out there—innocents were bombed, murdered, in Ukraine, today. But society, and its mortal gods, learns in many ways—particularly around issues of relationship, loyalty, race, aggression, and fame and wealth. Clearly the “slap heard ’round the world” was a lesson we all wanted to learn, together.

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