Wendy Gladney (File photo)

When thinking of the word “season,” it usually refers to a period of time such as the changing of seasons in a given calendar year.  Another interpretation refers to how the right or proper seasoning can make something taste good.

When thinking about the sad event the whole world experienced the night of the recent Oscars when Will Smith walked onto the stage and slapped Chris Rock on his face in hopes of defending his wife’s honor left a bad taste in most of our mouths.  After much was said and done, so far more has been said than done regarding this escapade.

Jada’s comment was simply, “This is a season for healing and I’m here for it.”  One can only interpret this in a myriad of ways.

Over the years, I have done much work around the topic of forgiveness and healing.  As a matter of fact, years ago, I trademarked the term, “Healing With Hate: How to Forgive to Live,” because I understand the importance the role of forgiveness plays in healing.

Although Will Smith made a public apology, true communication is not just what one says, but also how it is received.  Was Will truly sincere when he made his apology via social media?

A question that comes to mind is why he really slapped him in public on one of the biggest nights of the year in the first place. The assumption is that he was defending Jada’s honor due to her situation with alopecia, but was there more to it than just that?  After all, Will laughed when Chris first said the joke.  There may be something a little deeper beneath the surface.

If one really desires true and lasting healing one must be honest and authentic.  It must go beyond mere words and include genuine action.  If Will’s action was due to something deeper than Chris’ remarks that evening, then some true soul searching needs to take place.

And if Jada is ready for a season of healing and she is here for it, then what role is she willing to play to help mend the fence? After all, this situation is made up of a three-cord that has been intertwined way before the evening of March 27.  It will take all three of them to commit to reconciliation or at the very least, a mutual level of respect.

A coin has two sides and the other side of the coin is how does Chris Rock feel?  At the time of this writing, he has said very little. I am sure he was filled with much emotion, and I cannot say for sure, but my gut tells me that Chris had no ill will (no pun intended), he was just speaking in his natural way as a comedian.

That is what comedians do when a door opens, but did he go too far? I recently heard at one of the Oscar after parties that a well-known African American actor, when asked why he thought Chris Rock did not hit Will Smith back, he said that he believed it was because he felt his reactions would be placed on the shoulders of all of us as a people.

This is a good thought to ponder.  I once heard that when a White person makes a mistake, they only judge the person, however, when a Black person makes a mistake, they blame the entire race. Whatever the case, Chris stood tall and was a professional.

I am a firm believer that there is always hope for healing and new beginnings, but it must take the sincere interest of all parties involved. Whatever decision made by the Academy on how they will make Will Smith answer for his actions the public will continue to make up their own mind through the court of public opinion. The Smith’s will face the Rock in one way or another sooner or later.

Healing Without Hate: It’s a choice. It’s a lifestyle. Pass it on.

Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org to learn more. Wendy is a life strategist, coach, consultant, author, and speaker.