Sunday, August 24, 2014
Tonight I went to see the movie The Giver. I'll admit right away that the main reason I went was because Brenton Thwaites is just so cute, but in the end it turned out to be one of those movies that left me very pensive. I've been thinking about it for the last couple of hours since I got home and decided that I should write about what I learned. SPOILER ALERT--I'm going to talk about what happens in the movie, so if you don't want it ruined, stop reading.
For those of us who were raised in the LDS faith, one of the major lessons we learn is about the great council in Heaven and the subsequent war. Lucifer offered his plan: "...Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor." (Moses 4:1). His plan was to save us ALL. No one would be allowed to make any mistakes, no one could sin. Jesus' plan was markedly different, we would each be given our free agency. The ability, or rather the right to choose. Some would choose good, some would choose evil. Not all would make it back to the presence of God because of their choices, but Jesus offered himself up as a sacrifice for those who repented of their sins.
In The Giver we find a society where everything appears to be perfect. The leaders have imposed equality, they have removed the option of individual choice, and each person has a designated place in society. Why have they done this? As Meryl Streep's character so aptly explains, "When people have the freedom to choose, they choose wrong." By keeping everyone in their place and limited the people's freedom, everyone can be happy and live in harmony. Sounds nice, huh? NOPE!
When Meryl Streep said that line it just hit me. I see this idea so much in life. So many people in the world spend their time telling others how to live, how to think, what to believe, what to do, etc. So much of our world is about trying to control others and force them to be the way they think they should be. This is especially so with governments. It isn't a strictly conservative or liberal trait...it is on both sides. I see it in my workplace too. Everyone must think the same, everyone must act the same, or something is wrong. You can't say this, you can't say that. I am so tired of how our society as a whole acts like this. Every other day there seems to be some uproar on the news because someone said something that people find to be offensive. That person then is forced to apologize and promise to never say those things again. We throw out terms like bigot, anti-semi, homophobe, racist, etc. at the slightest offense. We try to force people to stop believing or thinking what they think and change their mind. We have people who propose laws and sometimes they're even enacted, based on controlling what people can think, say, or do. We force people out of their jobs or boycott their businesses because of their thoughts or feelings.
It's all a little too crazy for me sometimes. You know, if people don't like me because I'm gay, that's their right. If they wants to call me a faggot, they can. If a person doesn't like me because I'm white, that's fine. If someone thinks I'm a bigot because I was raised Mormon, that's not too big of a deal to me. Who am I to start ranting and raving that they have no right to say or feel those things? When did freedom of speech become "I can say whatever I want, but you can't say anything that I don't like?"
The bottom line is that yes, people will choose wrong. That's life. People will be stupid. People will say insulting things. Guess what, it only affects me if I let it. Now of course there are times when a person's wrong choices or their thoughts can turn into wrong actions that can affect me. For example, there are people who don't believe gays should be allowed to get married. Again, that's fine that they think that way. They don't have the right; however, to take that option away from gays. That is something worth fighting against. Words, however, just aren't worth fighting over...at least not in my opinion.
I think that many people live their lives as if they are victims of the world. "Wah, I'm unhappy because I'm gay and people don't like me." Get over it! We don't need the government or someone to come in and save us from our unhappiness. I get so irritated when something happens and everyone's knee jerk reaction is that "there ought to be a law" against it. I don't need to be rescued from life.
Let's allow people their free agency. Let's stop trying to force people to think and feel the way we want. Save the fighting and law making for things that really matter.
By the way, did I mention how pretty Brenton Thwaites is? He's from Australia...that accent. Swoon!!!