Monday, February 20, 2017

Goodness and Love . . . .

This morning's Tweet:  40 minutes ago

If evil is contagious, so is goodness. Let us be infected by goodness and let us spread goodness!

A little South American touch for you on this morning of Presidents' Day. 

I have been paying closer attention than usual to our Argentinian Pope's words of late, and after a brief visit to India and Australia yesterday (be explained later), I loved seeing today's Papal message.  

Seems like we must discipline ourselves more than ever these days on pushing back against evil by spreading goodness any way we can.  

Thank you, Pope Francis, for the reminder. 

Fortunately, unlike Sweden with its recent "terrorism problems," Brazil seems to be doing fine this morning, and they even let our beloved Annie Love into the country.  

She arrived there earlier this morning, and I'm sure the adrenalin of touching down on her newest continent has her looking pretty upbeat after the long overnight flight. 

I'm also pretty sure she's happily off with her friends now, ready to spread some of her upbeat love throughout the Brazilian jungle.

Meanwhile, it's back to India and Australia, where my sisters and I spent a brief virtual interlude yesterday afternoon.  

I can shout from the highest mountain that "the moment of that movie" made me fall in love again (I've fallen in love in so many ways during my life) AND the movie experience might have changed but certainly enhanced my life. 

Our two-hour journey actually began months ago when we all had watched a segment on "60 Minutes" about an upcoming movie, based on a true story.

The segment featured Saroo Brierly, who has spent most of his life in Tasmania after being adopted by an Australian family as a young boy from India.  

His story leading up to that adoption, however, is riveting, SO sad, and reflective of the unfortunate situations of so many millions of children in this world:  poverty-stricken but rich with the human spirit of love. 

Keep that on the bucket list, I thought while watching Saroo tell his amazing story, which could not have turned out so well had it not been for all the incredible technology advancements in this world.  

So, it's definitely a "there but for the grace of tech go I," for Saroo as well as the more famous reminder regarding the grace of God. 

As the Saroo's story was tucked away in my mind for future action, I later saw a Facebook posting by a former student, Jeff Bock, who works on box office analytics in the movie industry in Los Angeles. 

A few years ago, Jeff and I worked together on a very meaningful video project dealing with our mutual friend, the late Jenny Meyer, so my respect for him and his wisdom is off the charts.

Jeff had just seen the movie "Lion," based on Saroo's story.  His review that day also reflected "off the charts" praise for the movie's quality and impact.

Tuck that away, too, I thought.  

Well, when our ill-fated trip to Phoenix had us staying home and working extra hard cleaning up messes around our respective farms this weekend, we talked about doing something fun that would reduce the disappointment. 

I had seen a couple of interviews over the past week with Dev Patel, the grown-up Saroo in the movie.  His eloquence and visceral passion for the story only added to my desire to see this film as soon as possible.  

So, I suggested to my sisters that we drive to Coeur d'Alene to see it and stop for dinner on the way back:   a mini vacation, indeed, but it doesn't take much to get North Idaho folks out of a funk. 

And, so I bought tickets on line, we walked straight into Riverstone Regal Theater, found comfy seats, fed on popcorn and sat back for two hours of intense emotional viewing. 

I was a bit surprised that our theater station was not full.  Many of the two or three dozen viewers sat near us.  

As the visual story unfolded, sniffles began, and salty tears continued to erupt from eyes and drip down faces throughout the movie. 

Also, as the story unfolded, that's when I fell SO in love with a little 8-year-old boy known normally as Sonny Pawar but in the movie as Saroo. It's just indescribable how that little guy snatches the heart with his incredible acting, his eyes and his wonderful voice, seemingly never letting go. 

The story line for Lion is probably fairly well known, because of advance promotions, but nothing matches seeing the movie from the minute it starts until it ends.  

And, I guarantee that watching the credits at the end is very helpful because those few moments allow folks to gather themselves and maybe wipe away most of the tears before coming out into a lighted hallway for everyone to see a line-up of emotional wrecks. 

We shared immediate reactions with each other as we walked out the door, still sniffling: kids here have no idea how good they have it or why do some people with power and wealth exhibit such insensitivity toward the less fortunate.

I'll never forget this movie and recommend it highly.  The experience not only assuaged our disappointed souls who missed out on a weekend getaway but also reminded us once again that everything is relative.  

When I think of the scene where another little lost street boy in India offers Saroo a portion of his cardboard for a place to sleep, I'm reminded that for the grace of God go I, and I really appreciate my life. 

See the movie.  It can be life changing, and you will be infected with a touch of that goodness, which Pope Francis speaks of today. 

Happy Monday. 

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