Wednesday, August 27, 2008

lessons learned from hollywood

last night my roomies, los animales,JVB and i watched 'vantage point'. the movie's subject is the attempted assassination of a US president who was speaking at an international peace summit in spain. the story is the assassination from the 'vantage point' of 6 different individuals.

webster's dictionary defines 'vantage point' as: a position or standpoint from which something is viewed or considered. this definition alludes to the 'point' being a physical or emotional place, not a principle as i once thought. throughout the film we witness the shooting as the different characters saw it with their eyes. we also see 23 minutes of their life before the shooting. i think this gives an interesting angle to the storytelling. what they were doing before the event shaped how they perceived it. it set up their vantage point.

we all have certain opinions of events, people, politics, religious principles, etc. these opinions shape emotions -hopefuly not the other way around!- and eventually become personally held truths (thank you psych 101) about 'the way things are' or 'ought to be'. there are some opinions that are wrong; those that go against blatant black and white scripture commandments for example, but there are others that are grey or have no 'color' because they are amoral. it is these opinions, feelings and thoughts that, if considered with grace, can offer great insight into other's lives. we can understand their childhood, relationships with family members; we can see who has encouraged them and who has torn them apart. bad choices. good choices. forgiveness and bitterness. all of these experiences color the glasses we see the world through - our emotional and physical vantage point.

God in His mercy has extended small ( very small - minuscule ) little drops of mercy to me to extend to others, as i am not a merciful person by nature. this mercy has allowed me to consider others' vantage points and understand how they are feeling/thinking. when we take the time to invest in another person we not only see the surface situation (the shooting, as it were) but also the background (the 23 minutes before the shooting) which can help us be a better friend and understand them in a new way.

deep principle from a 90 minute movie.

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