Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Hypothetical Emancipation of Jaden Smith

So the word is that Jaden Smith wants to be emancipated from his parents for his birthday. Ok, let's be real, what teenager doesn't? Before we go on, you can slowly let go of those expensive pearls that you are clutching (dolls and guys alike) and take the necessary deep breaths to bring that rosy color back to your cheeks. As it turns out, the great Jaden emancipation was just a joke. However, for the sake of argument, let's say that it was totally true and Jaden was going to be given his freedom papers. Talk about every teenager's dream! Many a night, my dreams were filled with that coveted magic number 18, where all my dreams of doing what I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it, would come true. Unlike myself in those days, Jaden has the means to make that pipe dream I had a reality. Let's face it: there are very few 15 year-olds who have starred in their own blockbuster films, have their own clothing line, and yes, have parents who are superstars and Hollywood Powerhouses. With that said, does this really mean that he is ready to be out on his own at such an early age?

But He Is So Mature For His Age

Yes, it has been stated by his parents that Jaden is very mature. I can relate, because as a child so was a point. I was almost what the old folks call "an old soul." I could engage in conversations with adults and have an adult-like understanding and point of view to be deemed mature. This engagement was, of course, by its very nature limited because I was, after all, a child, and no adult would go into great detail on subjects that were thought to be "grown folks' business." Although I could interpret, understand, and give insight on such conversations, I was still a child, a child who was essentially still childish in mind and spirit. So I say this to say, Jaden is a well-accomplished and mature teenager, but he is still a teenager and prone to teenage tendencies in general. Teenagers think they know a lot, but when it comes down to it, they don't know half as much as they think, mainly due to lack of life experience.

Exposure! Exposure! Exposure!

At this point, you may be saying to yourself, "Slow your roll. We are talking about Jaden Smith, with Hollywood powerhouse parents Will and Jada, who have undoubtedly exposed their son to several things that would add up to this 'life experience.'" I mentioned that most teenagers may lack. This is very true. I have to say on the limited observation of the Smiths, that they have exposed all their children to different things and have afforded them the freedom to explore and express themselves. I am sure they have a wealth of experience that most children do not get until later in their adult lives. Valuable exposure about different cultures, ideas, histories, etc. serve only to expand the mind and help in one's growth and education.. Does this make Jaden capable of being on his own?

The Bottom Line

What everything boils down to is: if Will and Jada want to grant their son emancipation, then it's their right to do so. Do I think it's a sound idea? No, but I am not Jaden's parents. I don't know the Smiths outside of watching them create magic on huge screens while I guzzle down popcorn and beverages. In saying that, I do not know Jaden and what he's really capable of, in terms of managing his own affairs. I'm sure his parents know their child well enough to know what he can and cannot handle. We don't know the terms of this "emancipation". We don't know whether if it's just a matter of him having his own space, but his essential affairs are taken care of by the family or some other representative. We just don't know and, most importantly, should we really care?

Would I as a parent do the same, even if I had the financial means and a child with enough life experience or maturity to do so? Probably not. I will say this though, if it's done just right, it would teach Jaden early on what it means to pay the rent and all the other things adults have to worry about, no matter their status in life. Who knows, this may be another very ingenious way of teaching Jaden and possibly his sister, Willow, later about some very important life lessons. It does help that Jaden has the means, both financially and family values wise, to meet these challenges head on, no matter how unconventional others may think it is.

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