Last year, I blogged about a tribe member using the phrase “wrong and strong” to describe individuals who do wrong or hurtful actions towards others or even themselves but then vehemently deny, gaslight, manipulate, deflect or even outright lie to avoid accountability. Everyone has experienced this kind of relationship encounter. It can be very damaging to a healthy bond resulting in a loss of friendship, love or even an opportunity. At the core of being labeled “wrong and strong” is the issue of personal CHARACTER or the lack of it. Being “wrong and strong,” however, doesn’t always have to connote a negative if the individual takes full responsibility for their actions without unnecessary excuses and remains resolute in accepting the consequences. A person who handles their mistakes like this is a real – – OG – – modeling trUe strength of CHARACTER and integrity. Most recently, we have witnessed a young track star, Ms. Sha’Carri Richardson, demonstrating the high vibrational side of “wrong and strong” after making a private mistake that has cost her dearly (career, financial and public prestige).
As you may have heard, Sha’Carri Richardson, a track sprinter sensation and a gold-medal favorite in the women’s 100 meters, was recently suspended for a month after testing positive for THC, an ingredient found in marijuana. The positive test results automatically invalidated and jeopardized her appearance at the Tokyo Olympics. After watching the track star win the women’s 100-meter race at the US track and field trials in Oregon last month, this news is heartbreaking not only for Ms. Richardson but for her new track and field fans. Yet, it is her response to the findings that have made me root for her even more. Upon hearing the news about her suspension, Ms. Richardson took full responsibility and apologized for her actions – – accepting the consequences without childish complaining. It should be noted that she did offer an explanation that triggered me as well since her self sabotaging behavior was based upon hearing about her biological mother’s death from a reporter. Now could you just imagine the trauma this young 21 year old girl might have felt? We also have no idea about her past childhood experiences with this parent.
In no way am I condoning Ms. Richardson’s actions. She clearly knows the rules of her sport as well as the high stakes at risk. But, we all have to admit to making some pretty awful mistakes in our youth out of hurt, ignorance, immaturity or even feeling invincible. We also did our mistakes in private and without losing a parent or being informed about such tragic news by a reporter. Perhaps most of us would have simply cried, over ate or exercised until we were exhausted. Other people, however, often turn to drugs, alcohol, revenge, sex or some other more destructive behavior. The point is that we ALL have done something to derail our efforts and potential successes. I could write a PHD dissertation describing my embarrassing f*ckery and mistakes during my life. Ouch!!! Sometimes we receive the grace of the most high and are able to seemingly run along without immediate penalty. Often times, the consequences for our actions come swiftly and harshly forcing US to face our actions with direct judgement.
If you’re like me, you are still rooting for Ms. Richardson in spite of this mistake. I want to encourage her fly like a red bird whenever the opportunity presents itself again for her to do so. She will still have to suffer the consequences but perhaps she’ll learn a valuable lesson going forward. Even when one makes a mistake, there is always hope for another opportunity to RISE up, RUN and FLY again.
1/24/22: Check out the new documentary trailer about Ms. Richardson. Perhaps we will now learn more about her personal story and humanity beyond the sport and her unfortunate choice and actions: