Over Mother’s Day weekend, Jada Pinkett-Smith unveiled “Red Table Talks,” her filmed and candid conversations she had with her mother and her daughter. I. Loved. It. I loved it so much I actually tweeted Jada about it. (And she retweeted me. Look ma, I’m famous.) Basically, I just loved the idea of a multi-generational conversation amongst women.
Far too often, petty grievances or even actual painful actions, form an invisible wedge between family members. People hold grudges for things that didn’t really happen, people feel guilty about something that the other person has completely forgotten, people “dislike” someone based solely on who their mother liked or disliked.
If we don’t have real conversations together, we end up with the same ol’ same ol’ and that’s not good enough. I liked that the very first question in Jada’s “Red Table Talk” brought up big elephant-in-the-room type of issues. Her mother had been holding in guilt for years YEARS for really no good reason. The person she thought she failed (Jada) didn’t feel that way at all. That illustrates how even some of the most basic and seemingly obvious assumptions we make can be dead wrong.
Some people found fault in the second video with Willow having a moment and crying about her relationship with her mom and grandmother. I thought it was beautiful and extraordinarily mature of her to initiate discussion on that topic. She noted that in all her 11 and a half years on earth, there had never been a day when she hung out with her mother and grandmother, just the three of them. The end result?: Paparazzi pics of just the three of them hanging out on Mother’s Day. That’s the power of effective communication. She had something on her heart, she expressed it and an action took place.
I have a huge extended family. Huge like countless cousins in Detroit (seriously) on my mother’s side and some astronomical number of cousins on my dad’s side (great-grandpa had 26 kids). All that said, I’d love to have an all-ladies brunch with all the women on the different branches of my family tree.
Realistically, that probably won’t happen, just because of logistics alone. I’d need to rent out a convention center to accommodate everyone, but I think I can start out by doing a few branches at a time. I see it in my head. I just need to make it happen. It’s gonna be beautiful.
Would you ever consider setting up some kind of candid conversation between your family members like Jada did? You probably wouldn’t pub in on Huffington Post, but I’m sayin’.