Last weekend, my hubby and I watched a remarkable movie called “The Giver.” It starred Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline and was a based on a book by the same name.
I know we’re talking about 31 Days of Organizing this month, and just for today I’m going ignore that. The movie was just SO GOOD that I couldn’t wait to share my thoughts on it with you. I felt similarly about The Secret Life of Walter Mitty a few months ago.
So, about The Giver (from IMDB): In a seemingly perfect community, without war, pain, suffering, differences or choice, a young boy is chosen to learn from an elderly man about the true pain and pleasure of the “real” world.
Basically, the elders of this community have decided that dulling emotions from people (via drugs) will keep them safe. However, because of his chosen status and the lessons he receives, the young boy can’t keep his enthusiasm to himself once he’s introduced to the pain and pleasure of the “real” world.
Here’s why I loved The Giver:
- In this perfect community, people share “automatic” pleasantries. This triggers me into thinking about the people I know who say, “I’m fine” or “I’m busy” when someone asks them how they are. We seem to have our own automatic pleasantries!
- There’s wisdom and lessons to be learned from our elders and from our past (recent and ancient, good and horrifying). The idea of not having access to that wisdom and those lessons is frightening to me!
- The young boy chooses the unpredictability of emotions and feelings over the illusion of safety. Every entrepreneur I know chooses the same!
- The young boy shares his newfound learnings with his young female friend. He encourages her not to take the emotion-numbing drugs. She begins to feel things she’s never felt. And the glorious part happens when she feels affection for the young boy, helps him escape to save the community from themselves, and is captured. She knows she was right to help him “because I feel it!” She is feeling her feelings and owning the truth of them, one thing many people I know are afraid to do, right now, today.
- At one point, one of the elders says, “Sameness keeps us safe.” That’s one of the lies we tell ourselves. As a kid, that might have been true. But as adults, I believe with every fiber of my being it is our responsibility to figure out who we are as individuals and let our freak flags fly!
- The boy experiences a miracle when he goes beyond the edge. I love this because it shows we are capable of more than we think we are (and there’s something out there looking out for us).
- Before the young boy sets out on his journey, his elder teacher strengthens him and his traveling partner with memories of “enough” and with memories of joy. When their journey becomes very difficult, it is those memories that pull them through. The same can be true for you and for me.
Basically, this movie tidily packages up a lot of what I believe about life: decide what you want, choose your own path, and make a difference in this world with your voice and your talents. Know that it will be hard. Know that some people won’t be happy about it.
Do. It. Anyway.
Make Some Room,
P.S. At one point in the movie, the young kid says to his elder teacher, “Okay, if I’m the chosen Receiver, what does that make you?” His teacher smiles and says, “That must make me the Giver.” How can YOU be the Giver in your life?