Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Power of One by Robin Janney

First, good news for all: my internet was turned back on today.  Yay!

And the cellphones were turned back on yesterday!  Another Yay!

But enough on that already.

Something I've been thinking on this week was sparked by a conversation I had with my husband over last weekend.  We have a habit of picking out one liners from the movies we both like.  One of our most frequent one between the two of us is the "Good job." sequence in the movie Hancock.  In this scene, Jason Bateman's character Ray is trying to counsel Hancock on being a friendlier superhero by reminding Hancock that he needs to tell the regular human police officers at any given situation that they've done a good job .  You can watch it if you'd like. 

Ray's deciding to make an investment into the cranky superhero is pretty much what the movie is about.  Hancock starts out as a belligerent drunken hero who does as much damage as good during his exploits.  He is mocked and ridiculed by pretty much everyone, sought out by women for only one reason, and lives alone.

When Hancock rescues Ray from an oncoming train, nobody cares that he saved Ray.  They focus on the negative: he flipped Ray's car over on top of another vehicle (possibly injuring the woman it in) and then put his fist into the train, stopping it so suddenly that it derailed.  Ray, grateful to be alive, faces the angry crowd and tells them to focus on the good...his own salvation.  He thanks Hancock in front of them all.

From that moment on, Hancock sets himself onto the path that ends with a better understanding of who he is and who he is meant to be.  It wasn't easy for Hancock.  He had spent so many years not knowing who he was and thinking that he was the only one of his kind.  While it turned out that he wasn't the only superhuman in town, his transformation had already begun before that realization.  Hancock allowed himself to be jailed (to show the public and law enforcement what it would be like without him) and while he could have left at any time, he stayed because he trusted Ray.  And because he trusted that ONE PERSON who believed in him, despite direct opposition from others and the love triangle the movie makers put in, it opened up other people's acceptance in him...which led to more people believing that he could be a better superhero.

"Real" life never works out as neatly as fiction, movie or books.  The heroes don't always save the day, the boy doesn't always get the girl, and sometimes nothing good comes of the bad things that happen. Sometimes all of our work comes to mean nothing. Thankfully it's only 'sometimes' and not all the time!

One thing from my ramblings remains true though:  The power of just one person believing in you can make all the difference in the world.  It would be nice to have scores of people believing that we can make a difference in out life.  But not everyone has that many people in their life, not in the kind of way that matters.  Which is why all we really need is just one person to accept us for who we are and to believe that we aren't what everyone else says we are.

I have always had people here and there who believed in me over the years.  Too many to list here.  Many people are not as fortunate.  Many go through life hearing only the boo's and negative talk that Hancock heard whenever he tried to do something right.  There was a time when I couldn't hear the good about myself because all I could hear was the negatives.  It wasn't until I allowed myself to go through a time of solitude that I was able to filter out those negatives.  I began to believe in myself and accepted myself for who I am.  Which in turn allowed me to see others who believed in me and accepted me as is.

Because in real life, like in the movie Hancock, we have to believe in ourselves for any change to be lasting.  It might not be as dramatic as anything we see in the movies, it might just be seen by a few, but that doesn't matter.  Because even if we touch just one person around us, it will spread.  If we can believe in ourselves and succeed, maybe they can too.

And to be honest, the character Ray needed someone to believe in him just as much.  Which is why at the end of the movie, Hancock plastering Ray's All-Heart symbol on the moon is really kind of touching.  Hancock was trying to give back to Ray the belief and confidence that Ray had shown him.  Hancock even repeated back the line Ray had said to him, "You're going to change the world."

While we might not see our acts as world changing, we can change someone else's world, and they can touch someone else that we may not know.  Kind of like how the butterfly wings flapping in South America can create a hurricane thousands of miles away, one life touching and changing another can reach around the globe.

So, take a chance.  Let someone see you believe in them, believe in yourself...and change the world!

No comments:

Post a Comment