Monday, June 15, 2009

The Pursuit of Happiness

Saturday night my family watched the movie The Pursuit of Happiness. Have you seen that movie? I was emotionally drained when it was over. I wish we could have seen more of the after instead of reading about what happened in words on the screen.

As we were watching the movie I kept saying "Surely it has to start getting better after that.". But it didn't. It only got worse. Not the movie, the circumstances for the two characters of the movie. My heart was breaking knowing that it was a true story.

I lost two kids during the later part of the movie because they were either crying or about to. I brought them back for the very end. My favorite part at the end of the movie was when my son asked me "Mom, do you think the dad ever bought his son a new Captain America?" If you haven't seen the movie that will make no sense to you. You GOTTA see this movie.

One scene that spoke to me particularly was when Will Smith is in the subway bathroom with his son with the door locked so they can have a place to sleep on their first night of being homeless. They are laying on the cold dirty tile floor and his son lays sleeping on his lap. Will begins to cry silently so as not to wake his son and the door begins to rattle and someone won't stop pulling on the door or banging on it. That scene right there should have won him an Academy Award. I truly believed he was in that moment for real. They way he was fighting off the sobs to stay quiet, doing his best to bare his torturous circumstances and you could see him wishing that person would just go away and stop pulling on the freakin door!!

After the movie was over we were all drained an relieved. Today I promised my son and daughter that we would google the "Chris" and find out what he is up to today and his son. My kids are still dying to know if he ever got a new Captain America. I know if he didn't my son wants to go buy him one and send it to him regardless of how old he is today. You know what? I'd take him straight to the toy store to do it too.

The Pursuit of Happiness is one of those movies that can change a person. I don't think I can ever be the same in a small way ever again. There are scenes of rich people in such contrast to their poverty and the rich just didn't even have a clue at the suffering laying before them. It's not wrong to be rich, it's a blessing as long as you appreciate it as a gift and not live in love of your money. The scene where the people drive by in their convertible laughing and having a grand time as they whiz past the homeless shelter with the long line of men waiting to get in was a big aha moment for me.

I have always had a heart for the homeless or the down trodden. I worked in a really rough neighborhood as a teenager. We had almost as much in food stamps as we did in cash concerning revenue. Some of the people in that neighborhood were on drugs and alcohol but most of them were born into poverty and I know well enough from working with these people every single day that nobody ever spoke to them about how to get out. They were expected to fail. The ones who were determined to succeed met with resistance. The schools didn't want to bother with them. They knew where the kids lived. The adults? They had a hard time finding good paying jobs. I gave away lots of clothes and had clothing drives back in the day for those sweet people. If they looked better as far as clothing and such I just knew they could get the job. It was great to be a helper. I always organized coat drives in the fall through local Publix's. It was always an ordeal and I got a lot of flack for it. But it had to be done. How can we live warm when people are suffering? I learned a lot about poverty back then. Sometimes horrible things happen to you and it's just not your fault. Sometimes life kicks you in the butt. Sometimes you can wake up in your pit and want out but can't find the exit door. I have had a heart for people such as this.

I used to be an activist, I received so much mail from Senators and Congressmen my mailman used to think I was a spy. I never quite understood that. Ha ha. He was afraid of me. That still cracks me up. But once I started having children and life set in I stopped doing all those things. I just gave to the needy as I saw the need in person. Which is fine really but after watching the movie I just know I need to get back to being an active part of making the world a better place to live in for everyone. I feel so blessed right now because I have a roof over my head and food to eat. Not much food but I have it. The economy has left my family in torment of stress and we are broke for the first time in our married lives. The first time in mine. It stinks and yet I am so lucky because I have a home. Shelter. I don't know what I might do yet. I still have a 2 year old in tow with me. But surely I can never just live my own life again without volunteering in some way to help people. Wow. What a movie. If you need to feel blessed about your life please go rent this movie. I hope you will never look at your time and money the same. If you watch it will you tell me what you thought? I'd love to hear someone else's thoughts on it.

Love ya,

Jennifer

1 comment:

Mary Ellen ~ Carolina Momma said...

We loved the movie as well. I will always remember the scene in the bathroom. I also wished there would have been more about their rise to success at the end. And I do wonder what his ex-wife must be thinking now!