Tuesday, January 2, 2007

I Call This Part of My Life ... Reality Check

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.”
Philo of Alexandria
This is the story of a man who made a couple of bad decisions about money and began the downward slide toward poverty. His wife leaves him, he and his small son become homeless, and one would expect this to be a very depressing tale indeed. However, Chris Gardner, portrayed by Will Smith in a fine and understated display of excellent acting, refuses to quit trying to better himself and his situation. As a result this story is filled with hope, determination, and a wonderful message about what really matters in life.

This movie is full of contrasts. As Gardner lives and works in privileged circles trying to earn a way out of poverty, we see the difference that five dollars can make when someone is really on that ragged edge. He reflects on this often, considering Thomas Jefferson's words in the Declaration of Independence about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (the misspelling is somewhat explained, however without satisfying me as to why it was included ... perhaps reading the book will tell me more).

What is ultimately satisfying about this story is Gardner's character. He doesn't whine, complain, or blame anyone else for his misfortune. He is underappreciated in many instances, yet uncomplainingly shoulders his responsibilities and soldiers onward through frustration and setbacks in the best way that he can.

I would like to give concrete examples yet hesitate to do so as I don't want to reveal too much of the movie. Perhaps most telling were our reactions. Rose came out of it saying that she was thankful she had a home to live in. I came out feeling how truly rich our family is. Our entire family came out of it feeling uplifted and thankful to have seen the movie. Highly recommended.

No comments:

Post a Comment