I just returned from seeing “The Help” a film by Tate Taylor. It’s essentially about a young writer in the South in the 1960’s writing a book about the African-American maids point of view towards the white families in which they work, and the hardships they endure. I was moved on several levels. Here are a few scattered thoughts.
– Viola Davis (plays the lead maid character Aibileen) is a fantastic actress and I would be shocked if she does not get the attention of the Academy this Oscar season.
– One moment I was laughing and the next tears welled up in my eyes. Some of the characters are very over the top and there is tasteful humor through out. However, in the midst of this I found certain moments profound in what they said about our humanity, the need for story-telling, courage and speaking truth.
– In telling the stories of these women and the injustices surrounding, it reminded me of the need to take time to listen to peoples stories and our own. We need to remember where we came from, personally and communally.
– Stories awaken truth. They turn us on to the realities that we distract ourselves from. Most of us don’t want to deal with the pain or struggle that occurs on major and minor scales in our or others lives. But we were designed to endure together, stand up for one another, hold each other accountable, fight along side one another and risk it all, together. That shows more love then any of the amusements that bring us together.
– Words are powerful. The words spoken to a young child. Words of kindness, beauty and meaning. They shape profoundly how a person grows up to view themselves and the world around them. Truth takes no shape, color or size. You know truth when you hear it it, because it somehow mysteriously takes the pressure off our shoulders to be someone we’re not.
– There was a line that the authors mother said “courage must have skipped a generation.” That strikes a deep chord in me as I look at my father and see qualities I have received from him, that I hope I can flesh out and really be a good steward with. Rather than cash in the chips early, I strive to live a story I’ll be proud to tell my grandkids.
– This film sparked some thoughts about the stories that will be told about my life. The things I stand for. The people I stand for. If will I be known for what I am for more than against? Will my life serve to help others step closer into embracing a True love and a True identity? This film was more than about race or skin color, but the powerful influence another can have on a life. Through words, actions, and time.