I’ve shared this before, and it annoys me each time I see it. On the surface, this sounds like a good idea: Don’t spend a lot of time thinking or feeling negatively about unworthy people. Okay, cool, I can try that out.
Once you start thinking about what that quote is actually saying, though, it becomes more problematic.
1. Will Smith and his wife have been dabbling in Scientology, going so far as to be involved in a Scientology tech-based school. Scientology is ALL ABOUT doing nothing without getting something in return (that is “out-exchange”, so charity and being a Good Samaritan is not part of their creed) and, further, Scientology is all about controlling customers’ minds through Training Routines which teach its customers how to obey orders and give orders without questioning them, and Auditing which encourages its customers to reveal deeply personal (blackmail) material and then unburden themselves to an auditor who functions as a psychology-averse pseudo-therapist, Knowledge Reports (grass forms / tattletale sheets), diktats from Source (4th-rate sci-fi author and cult leader, L. Ron Hubbard) on every conceivable area of one’s life that must be adhered to without deviation or question, bans on non-Scientology media, websites, books and unapproved entertainments (they used to go as far as to install “Net Nannies” on customers’ computers which would block access to “entheta” (negative data) websites), thought-stopping use of a special language rife with acronyms and what used to be perfectly good words in English (like “ethics”) which are twisted into unrecognizable Hubbardese, and mistrust of any competing technological advances or information (psychology is supposedly evil, medications are supposedly unnecessary because all you need is touch assisting or auditing or medically unsound concoctions like CalMag (a special Hubbard brew) or barley water instead of baby formula and any number of similar idiocies).
So, the idea of (real) Will Smith–who has AT THE VERY LEAST, chosen not to investigate Scientology before supporting a Scientology tech-based school–speaking about people wanting to “control your mind” is laughably disingenuous.
Clearly, Fake Will Smith shouldn’t pick quotes like this one. Bad form, Fake Will Smith.
2. You will also notice that Fake Will Smith’s advice depends on you carefully keeping some kind of scoresheet in your head, and making sure that “people who do so little for you” receive no thoughtful contemplation or emotional feeling from you unless they pass the “what have you done for me lately?” test.
This kind of attitude about relationships is infantile and self-centered, and the opposite of being genuinely kind and charitable towards everyone without regard for whether they “do” anything for you first.
This is not to say that people who are abusive or selfish deserve to be forgiven endlessly. Far from it. It is not a bad thing to examine a problematic relationship and determine whether it is healthy for you to remain in it. It is OK to say “no” to people. If you are dealing with an abusive, manipulative or passive aggressive person in a relationship, then thinking about the one-sided-ness and negative emotional impact of that relationship is healthy and a good idea.
If you are, however, keeping some kind of tabs on whether every person you are in some kind of relationship with, in your opinion, has done enough for you to “deserve” basic kindness or thoughtful consideration, then you are an asshole. Healthy relationships do not require scorekeeping.
Just my humble opinion.