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An Oscar Night Lesson

Updated: Mar 30


If you are a movie lover like me, you are also probably an Oscar night lover. Provided that we haven’t had LIVE award ceremonies in a while, I for sure sat down yesterday evening, wine in hand, to enjoy the show.

Leaving behind the fact that the format of the event felt a bit weird, I have always found it enjoyable to see the A-Listers looking their best (for the most part). Little did I know that the highlight of the night, Will Smith punching Chris Rock on Live TV, was going to give me good inspiration for my Monday morning blog, as it reminded me of one of my favorite Warren Buffet’s quotes:

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”

In this case, massive damage happened in less than a minute. I’ve never been a super fan of Will Smith, but I have always admired how he has developed his career. From comedic roles to more serious ones, which as of last night include an Oscar win!, A music career with some incredible hits under his belt, including the timeless Ode to my home city Miami, and a family life that albeit some controversial confessions lately, seemed quite stable for Hollywood standards. And oh, he and Jada looked quite the part yesterday, both very classy and elegant.


I have never loved those 'bully' kind of jokes that are told at these events. I think that comedians should know better and that the whole “style” should be scrapped. Make fun of events, circumstances, but people? Directly? Nope, I don’t like that and unfortunately yes, there was a lot of it going on yesterday.


I am not going to get into discussing “Should he or shouldn’t he”, but I think is worthy to discuss Self-discipline, professionalism, and maturity.


What happened yesterday to Will Smith, happens daily in our lives. Maybe we don’t go to the extreme of punching, but many of us may engage in reactive behavior that WILL INDEED impact the way we are perceived in our environment. I am sure that many of the other celebrities that were poked yesterday weren’t happy either, and yet, they didn’t just stand up and punch the host on live TV. More than once I would have hung up on a partner or a customer, have I done it? Never, even when the temptation was high.


An angry email, an offensive comment, a disregard for a colleague’s request, a barrage of “F” words one after another during a business meeting, all are ways in which we can quickly destroy a reputation that we put time and effort to build. Is it worth it? I don’t think so, and the damage is irreparable because no matter what role you attempt to play again, people will now know that there’s a different layer in you.


‘At Your Highest Moment, That’s When The Devil Comes For You’ ,

This advice that Denzel Washington allegedly gave to Will Smith right before he went on stage to accept his Best Oscar Award, was to me, the greatest lesson of the night, one worth keeping in mind at all times. To me, it ended being a bittersweet night where we witnessed some of the best, but also some of the worst traits of our humanity. The good in all of this is that one can always try to do the right thing, even if late. The damage is done, but good faith, good intentions, and more importantly authentic love do have healing power.

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