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Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Open Letter to Will Smith: “Use Your Head and Heart Before Using Your Hand”

By Orrin “Checkmate” Hudson

Will Smith

Nationwide — Will, you have long been a hero to me. Even heroes make bad moves but in their fall there is redemption and an ability to once again sit on that lofty perch. Your performance in King Richard was worthy of the Oscar for Best Actor. Frankly, it was incredible. Your screen persona taught your two daughters, Venus and Serena, to believe in themselves and to become someone through dedication, commitment, and hard work. I know that is exactly who you really are.

These are exactly some of the very lessons I teach in my Be Someone program that uses the game of chess to teach life lessons and especially that every move has a consequence.

Will, I hope you don’t mind but I want to use you as an example. This is what I want to say to you now but what I constantly say to the many at-risk students who sit in front of me. Listen…
Self-control exhibits strength. Calmness is mastery. You have to get to a point where your move doesn’t shift based on the insignificant actions of someone else.

Don’t allow others to control the direction of your life. Don’t allow your emotions to overpower your intelligence. Realize you are amazing and there is no one like you, out of 7.6 billion people on the face of the planet. Remember, your mind is a pearl, you can change the world!

Your entire life can change in one wrong move. Yours did. Read today’s local headlines and there’s more proof. Lives are ruined and lost because someone forgot the age-old lesson that there is a consequence for every action.

Stop worrying about the big stuff because it paralyzes you. Focus on making your next move your best move and the positive ripple effect it creates will be a gamechanger!

Will, I still love you. I might even love you more today than yesterday! You made a mistake, you fessed up. We need more Will Smiths in our world. You are a fallible man of honor.

Thank you, my brother, for the lesson you allowed me to share: Good decisions start with your head, heart, and then your hands.

Orrin “Checkmate” Hudson is a former gang member who later become the first Black chess champion in Birmingham, Alabama. He now runs a nationwide non-profit called Be Someone that inspires youth to make better decisions in life. Learn more at BeSomeone.org

For press inquiries, contact info@besomeone.org or 404-578-5278.