Everyone looks forward to the Oscars!
From the red carpet fashion fiesta to the thrilling award nominations, right until the final results everything has a special aura about it.
However, this year the showstopper was the unexpected faceoff between Chris Rock and Will Smith.
Those present at the ceremony were caught by surprise and many around the world were taken aback by Will’s reaction to a rather dull-witted joke made by Chris.
Everyone is now debating whether Will was right or wrong, what should have happened and what shouldn’t have.
Some are justifying Will’s actions, while several are opposing them. Many others are taking a rather neutral stand.
But think about the entire incident for a while and ask yourself, what lessons can we draw from the fiasco at the Oscars,2022?
Here are a few to get you started…
CHECK YOUR TONGUE
Chris had a choice when he was speaking about Jada.
For something as big as the Oscars, anyone would have planned and penned down and even memorized their scripts, so Chris probably planned this out as a part of his set, of course the outcome didn’t sum up to what was expected. Chris was loose with his tongue and he faced a very awkward situation as a result of it. We always have a choice when it comes to our words. Words are powerful. Words can build or tear down people. Proverbs 18:21 says “The tongue has the power of life and death”, which is why we must always calculate the impact of our words before we set our tongue loose, in fact, we must always check our thoughts and our speech and never choose to let our tongue loose.
CHECK YOUR HUMOUR
What is the purpose of humour? To lighten a moment, to bring a smile on someone’s face? Sadly, the humour we have grown used to has many devious connotations today. Stand up comedy and humour in popular circles thrive on mockery and ridicule. Today, Some of the best stand up artists are those who prefer duality with their words, strip people apart with their monologues and are regular users of profanity. Since when did we become okay with belittling someone else? Since when did someone’s health condition become a point of leverage to garner cheers and laughter? Surprisingly, Chris made an insensitive joke about Jada and then he had the audacity to justify his joke in the name of entertainment. It’s never okay to walk all over the lives of people without knowing their stories. Philippians 4:8,9 says Finally,… whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice. Can we choose to enjoy humour that isn’t based on ridicule and mockery? We must choose humour that builds up someone. Chris’ humour at the Oscars represents a low level of insensitivity that we have towards each other. There are so many memes today, about the reaction of Hollywood superstars when Will smacked Chris, If only there would have been a similar reaction when Chris cracked the unsolicited joke on Jada. We must rethink and reset our humour!
CHECK YOUR ACTIONS
In the apology that Will Smith issued after his outbreak at the Oscars he wrote “I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us,” he wrote. “I am a work in progress.”. Our actions are very important indicators of who we are on the inside. Which is why we need to check our actions regularly. It was Anthony of Padua who said “Actions speak louder than words; let your words teach and your actions speak.”
We all are a work in progress and you must consistently ask yourself the question ‘Are my actions contradicting my words?’. Let’s notch that up a level higher ‘Do people remember me for what I did or for who I am?.
Regardless of who is right or wrong and what disciplinary actions will be taken by the academy, we are responsible for both our words and our actions. When we are emotionally perturbed we can say and do things that we do not mean. The best thing to do is to process our thoughts, words and actions lest we become irresponsible with them. It is best to remind ourselves that we are God’s masterpieces created for good works (Ephesians 2:10). May we always strive to be the best, in order to bring out the best in others.
Phillip Harris is an active listener & a keen observer. He has a creative flair for almost every thing he lays his hands on, He believes that courageous action and consistent kindness are key factors to bring change in any community. With an inspiring life story he continues to motivate several young people to overcome their hurdles and believe in their God given potential.
Phillip is a pastor at The Assembly of God Church, Kolkata. He is married to Prerna and their joy is their baby girl, Mahima.