Will Smith’s Fault vs. Responsibility

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Which Side of The Debate Are You On?

I came across this 1:41 minute video by Will Smith which disrupted my usual silence when it comes to voicing out personal opinions about issues disregarding me. This topic however, touches a concern that matters to not just me but several people I know IRL, about a message that could be deciphered wrongly by some.

As much as I adore the Smith family and respect Will’s role model as a ‘life coach’, I felt his piece of advice about today’s topic very one-sided; potentially and naively protecting the one at fault.

Of course the depth of his message is there, and it takes a slightly more philosophical person to wrap his or her head around it, yet since he clearly spelt out that this is a debate, I would like to know his opposition’s side of the story.

P.S. Please watch the video before proceeding. 

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First of all, he mentioned the friend is a ‘she’. That means the debate was an exchange of opinions between 2 different genders, which can make a huge difference because as much as we like to believe in equality, not all parts of society give men and women the same treatment – yet.

1:29 – “it really don’t matter whose fault it is that something is broken, if it’s your responsibility to fix it“.


How is somebody else’s fault, my responsibility? When it comes to family and relationship, is it as simple as pointing towards ONE person’s duty?

I agree thatit’s not somebody’s fault if their father was an abusive alcoholic and it’s for damn sure their responsibility to figure out how they’re gonna deal with those traumas and try to make a life out of it.

Nothing should be an excuse to give up or be sh*t in life. But to say “deal with it” is a lot easier said than done.

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When a child is born in a family environment that is unstable, and acknowledging that every child has different levels of maturity to deal with challenges – some grow up to be even stronger, some fail – it is not really a choice for the latter.

No family is the same. Some single parent still manage to create a supportive environment for their kids. Some might not afford to. So rather than pointing out the obvious, I wish I could ask the Hollywood millionaire, “How would you help them?”

1:07 – It’s not your fault, if your partner cheated and ruined your marriage . . .

It sure damn is not.

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1:04 – “. . . but it is for damn sure your responsibility to figure out how to take that pain and how to overcome that and build a happy life for yourself.

Can a person cheat, comes home and says “Mind your own business. It is your responsibility to be happy”? And continues to cheat?

I’ve heard too many stories of women who are trying to sustain a happy family despite having to live with irresponsible acts of their other half.

Why not just leave, you ask. I used to ask that myself ala Will Smith.

Is it as easy to back out especially when they have kids? Is the law set up to support single mothers? How supportive is the society in Asia towards welcoming a divorcee? What kind of pressure will the mother and her kids receive? Think again!

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What I learned is that not everyone is lucky enough to have a choice. Some have no money for a divorce, insufficient funds to raise their kids, or can’t find befitting organisations to seek help from. Instead, they try to recognise that life goes on, and continue to make the best out of someone else’s fault.

These women sure know what Will Smith is bragging about because they are. living. it. But about happiness –

Speaking of Fault vs. Responsibility, what about the responsibilities of the person at fault? Is he or she excused? That is the missing question. 

0:39 – “we want it to be their responsibility to fix it but that’s not how it works especially when it’s your heart – your heart, your life, your happiness, is your responsibility and your responsibility alone . . .


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Where is the other party’s accountability? NO ONE should go around thinking they have the freedom / permission to do whatever they please because it is their other half’s responsibility to be happy. Because it is their heart, their life, alone?

NO! A relationship is a JOINT EFFORT.


I agree that:

0:11 – “The road to power is in taking the responsibility . . .

I’m not sure about the continuation:

. . . your heart, bla bla bla, and your responsibility alone!


I believe Will meant well, and that what he’s trying to say is you’ve got to want to help yourself. Nobody can help a person who fails to recognise the need to save his / herself.

But it is not an easy journey and it doesn’t have to be walked ALONE. We all know someone in our circle who is going through such hard times. We can support them along the way as an arm of the community to help them ‘get there’, closer to what they define as happiness.

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Personally, I just thought that unfortunately this video, with 11 million views, depending on which side the viewers’ stand point is, might read into the message wrongly.

I’m not encouraging anyone to be “trapped into victim mode”, but if you are victim, there is no shame in admitting that and reaching out for help. It is your responsibility to save yourself, but another person’s fault is not your burden to carry. 

Lastly guys, if it is your fault, take the damn responsibility for it. 

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Whether you are a woman seeking help or wants to give help, here are some organisations in Singapore and Malaysia you can reach out to:

aware (Association of Women for Action and Research)
SCWO (Singapore Council of Women’s Organisation)
WAO (Women’s Aid Organisation)
Global Giving
Read about the financial assistance scheme for single mothers
The official government site dedicated to single mothers



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