Just a few hours ago WIll Smith published this vlog on his YouTube channel which I very much liked and with a message I very much agree with. But after seeing the vlog I felt I had some words to add and so I wrote the following in the comments to his vlog.
Much respect Will for your lifelong dedication to uplifting & empowering words & and actions. And in no way do I want to imply that this was a wrong path for you to take or anything like that at all. And yes I do sympathize that the escalation to police action can be seen as a perhaps over-reactionary and perhaps excessive escalation.
But one thing I want to put into this forum, if I may, is that the boy’s action to knock you down with that heavy padlock, _his choice_ to take that path where he escalated his emotion towards violence, _that choice was entirely his._
It was his own personal choice to resort to violence. He didn’t have to. But he had let his emotions get the better of him. He may have been young, he may have been stupid, but that choice? That’s on him. Sure it was unlucky for him that the situation wound up putting him in prison with a permanent criminal record, but he could have chosen different. But he didn’t. And so that’s where he wound up.
I respect you Will for your dedication towards inspiring and uplifting people around you. And your gesture of apology is, in my personal opinion, quite just and honorable. These choices, Will, the paths you’ve chosen, they’ve led you to become a great person. And so in the end, with apologies for this long rant, I have nothing more to say than much respect, Will. Much respect.