Let me share with you there are five significant Prompts derived from the Oscars 2022 Presentation.
The first Prompt is from an admonition I always told my children:
Great people talk about ideas;
Mediocre people talk about things;
And small people talk about other people.
Chris Rock’s Prompt talked about other people in his role as Emcee. The audience is conditioned to smile and laugh and guffaw at small people’s talk about other people. “Talk about other people does not imply “lifting them up”. It implies poking them with a fork dipped in ridicule, hyperbole and poison. It puts the “other people” at-risk.
Will Smith, in the audience, was anticipatedly psyched to receive a top peer award for his talent and skill in acting. All of his attention was on the words and moment when he would find out if success was his. As he listened for those words, he heard the emcee put his wife at-risk of that fork of ridicule, hyperbole, and poison referring to her traumatic medical condition. That Prompt was the same wound of the fork to Will Smith as his wife felt. Will Smith’s Prompt was triggered. In recoil, he jumped out of his seat, and ran toward the emcee to stop him from further injury with his weaponous tongue.
But it was the Prompt from Denzel Washington to Will Smith that brought the reality of the moment to the fore, “At your highest moment, be careful, that’s when the devil comes for you.” Of Denzel Washington, Wikipedia says that he is a devout Christian who has considered becoming a preacher, and that Washington says of himself that he reads the Bible daily.
Washington’s Prompt is the Prompt of C.S. Lewis in The Screwtape Letters in that classic masterpiece of religious satire that entertains readers with its sly and ironic portrayal of human life and foibles from the vantage point of Screwtape, a highly placed assistant to "Our Father Below." At once wildly comic, deadly serious, and strikingly original, C.S. Lewis's The Screwtape Letters is the most engaging account of temptation—and triumph over it—ever written.
Washington’s Prompt assumes fixedly depraved angel spirits, demons. And there is an assumption that bad men can be depraved angels in human form. Lewis creates letters from a senior depraved demon, Screwtape, to another more junior demon, Wormwood, who has his boots on the ground trying to win a soul to the underground away from the Enemy, God.
The fourth Prompt is from me. Get a copy of The Screwtape Letters. Search carefully for an edition you will understand—likely an annotated edition for an understanding for today’s experiences. Read it. Study it. Relate the characters and incidents to your person, your family, your workplace, your parish. Recognize the “perfect” gathering, event, or fun time will be an occasion at the height of strived for excellence and goodness, that a demon will “trigger” a temptation for yourself or your beloveds to commit an act toward the underworld.
The fifth Prompt is from you. “Get behind me, Satan”; and /or “Go ‘back home.”