Why Does Jay-Z Believe Therapy Can Change Lives & Stop Violence?
The latest news with a dose of wisdom...
By James Mills, Associate Partner & Mentorship Coach, Lighthouse International
This week, the world-famous rapper Jay-Z gave a very open and candid interview with the New York Times where he discussed rap, marriage and racism in America. Through this dialogue he revealed his experience of therapy which opened his eyes up to what causes violence in many people's lives.
Here's what he shared in response to the question about his experience of therapy and what he discussed that he had never previously acknowledged:
"I grew so much from the experience. But I think the most important thing I got is that everything is connected. Every emotion is connected and it comes from somewhere. And just being aware of it. Being aware of it in everyday life puts you at such a ... you're at such an advantage. You know, you realize that if someone's racist toward you, it ain't about you. It's about their upbringing and what happened to them, and how that led them to this point. You know, most bullies bully. It just happen. Oh, you got bullied as a kid so you trying to bully me. I understand.
And once I understand that, instead of reacting to that with anger, I can provide a softer landing and maybe, “Aw, man, is you O.K.?” I was just saying there was a lot of fights in our neighbourhood that started with “What you looking at? Why you looking at me? You looking at me?” And then you realize: “Oh, you think I see you. You’re in this space where you’re hurting, and you think I see you, so you don’t want me to look at you. And you don’t want me to see you.”"
What Jay-Z highlights is the power of increasing self-awareness; joining dots and understanding more about why we do what we do. He has personally seen that this awareness has given him the increased capacity to choose how to respond to any situation - especially those of perceived challenges and confrontation. Just take a moment to imagine how many arguments and fights start simply from a lack of emotional maturity and understanding! Scary right?!?
Often it just needs someone objective; a therapist, a mentor or a coach, to help us see things from a different perspective that can be paradigm-shifting and life-changing. Quite simply the more we are aware of our own emotions, the more we can empathise and understand others.
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