We filter massive amounts of information every day. This ability allows categorizing and prioritizing. Once in a while, something unexpected gets through.
Sometimes that unexpected t.h.i.n.g is like a pebble in your shoe – it demands our attention and distracts us from what we want to be focusing on. Talk about annoying.
That seemingly reasonable filtered choice, once in the middle of it, may make us second guess our filtering ability.
Let’s step out of work and family obligations for a minute. Conjure up the feeling you experience when sitting down to watch an eagerly-awaited movie. It starts. A little into the movie you question the choice. About 1/2 way through you are questioning yourself for still watching. Yet, something keeps you there … and even after the climax of the story there are still some unexpected twists and turns. The movie credits begin and the satisfaction, maybe even joy, for the outcome resembles nothing expected at the beginning.
I have love/hate relationships with movies, and this example illustrates perfectly my experience with most movies. One movie specifically changed who my favorite actor is, but also unexpectedly resonated with me at the core of my humanness: Pitch Black (Haven’t seen it? Here’s a movie trailer.)
Full disclosure: I also enjoy Rambo and Die Hard and Reacher. Besides the fact I like ‘em – these movies have a chance to illustrate human character at it’s core when every thing else can’t seem to get any harder, worse or crazier … yet it does, until it’s over.
Desire to Survive.
The heavy, unexpected, and crazy gift us experience. How we act in the midst of that is our true self. Riddick, brought to life by Vin Diesel, exemplifies the good within each of us. And, that goodness stays with us when we are the ugliest and the most judged.
Care of Others.
Todd Smith shared an African Proverb that sticks with me: “If you want to walk fast, walk alone. If you want to go far, walk together.” The characters in Pitch Black banded together, trusted each other (as mostly strangers) working together.
What supremely delights you?
I just wanted a pop-corn movie that might keep me on the edge of my seat and take me away from my reality for just a little while. Yes, I found that. The extra gift came with the excitement that every single person has good – it might be hidden, it be lost, it might be soooooo tiny no one knows it exists, yet it is there even if just for a moment.
Those sparks of truth, or fun, or unexpected, especially from unexpected sources provide stories to weave into and explore with our personal experience. From that expanded understanding (regardless of the source) we equip ourselves to meet each other as we are, not as we expect.