Over the weekend Jennifer Hudson, her family, and her legion of friends and fans, have witnessed the evil that someone can do.
No one deserves what Jennifer--and many other survivors of violent acts--have been through.
I have watched the play-by-play of the coverage evolve from shock and horror to blame. Blame for the sister's choice of a husband, who is at the moment 'a person of interest,' to blame for the family 'remaining in the 'hood' long after Jennifer became a Hollywood celebrity. Julia Hudson, the sister even appears to blame herself on her MySpace page:
"Because I chose to do what was natural to me and love someone, it cost me my beautiful loving supporting mother Darnell, my true baby brother Jason [I love U big baby] and last but never not least my only son Julian, my innocent baby one that was sheltered from all the evil in the world because we loved him so much."
Let's end the blame game here. Let's begin a proactive and preventive conversation instead.
We cannot know for sure what stranger-turned-lover will protect us and what stranger-turned-lover will harm us. We cannot know when we're sleeping with an enemy beforehand, and we cannot predict how a lover will react once we call it quits.
All we can do is trust our sixth sense. The sixth sense is that pain in the gut when something just doesn't feel right. Or it's that nagging premonition that something just doesn't look right. Sometimes, the sixth sense is that warning system (self-accusing spirit) that kicks into overdrive the moment we pursue instant gratification via detrimental means. Or detrimental persons.
And the sixth sense is real. According to Science Blog, Washington University in St. Louis researchers identified "a brain region that clearly acts as an early warning system -- one that monitors environmental cues, weighs possible consequences and helps us adjust our behavior to avoid dangerous situations."
Many times, we muffle that sixth sense when it gets in the way of something we want to do or someone we want to pursue. This muffling can lead to bad decisions and misjudgments of character. Even worse, it can lead to our children becoming 'collateral damage.'
Some of us may need to fortify our sixth sense with a backup plan. We must not fall in love, but rather plan to love by initiating background checks, be it from professional private eyes or searchable MySpace profiles.
We must take the blinders off and proceed with our eyes wide open before allowing someone into our hearts, into our homes, and into the lives of our loved ones.
Conversely, what we absolutely must not do is judge someone's tragic circumstances and/or place blame on the survivors; that's unconscionable and unfair.
And if you listen closely, your sixth sense is telling you this.