I love movies. I love movies almost as much as I love music. Just like daily happenings remind me of songs, things that happen during the day remind me of movies. Last Sunday, I awoke and was inspired to write a story. At least I thought I was inspired. It might have been avoidance behavior; not wanting to attend to chores or do anything requiring physical exertion. I wrote my story, posted it in my blog, and like Ralphie in “A Christmas Story,” I awaited the accolades and recognition of its truth-promoting potential to pour in (A++++++++ on the virtual blackboard of blog comments). Like Ralphie believed his essay on the attributes of the Red Rider BB gun would shine the light of truth on the merit of his request for one for Christmas; I believed my short story would illuminate the value of truth over rhetoric and acceptance over intolerance. I thought my words would finally make clear that it is better to love than to hate.
I awaited the worldwide accolades that would surely come my way. I imagined the nightly news would feature a picture of Pope Francis (he really is a great guy who gets that it is better to love than to hate) as they read his statement, “Even an average middle-aged retiree in Albuquerque, New Mexico gets that love is better than hate. The truth is, hate tears down and love builds up. Come on people. Read the story. Different isn’t bad. It’s what allows us to see all sides of an issue and solve real problems. We just have to truthfully examine all sides of the problem.” My imagination, like Ralphie’s, tends to overemphasize my influence (and my writing talent).
Another one of my favorite movies is “The Invention of Lying.” One of the gifts of retirement is more movie-watching time. This gift is increased by the stay-at-home-and-watch-movies mandate resulting from the pandemic (the gift that keeps on giving). In “The Invention of Lying,” the main character inadvertently tells a lie and avoids the consequences and accountability (at least at that moment) of the truth. He’s the first to tell a lie, and he immediately sees the potential. He can avoid hurting others, by replying to requests for his opinion with small lies when the truth would be hurtful. He can do things that are hurtful, and then lie when asked if he did so. The possibilities would be endless. Ricky Gervais, one of the writers, is pretty clever. After inventing lying, the character played by Gervais chooses not to lie, when a lie would harm a loved one. Even after inventing lies, he wasn’t going to use lies to hurt people. Wouldn’t it be great if that were the truth of lying now. Not using lies to hurt people has been written out of the screenplay of “Now.”
While working, I would often use many words to tell a co-worker to stop a behavior that I believed was negative or destructive. Apparently, I have brought this practice with me into retirement. I wrote a story intended to remind people that lies and hate are harmful. The truth is, people already know this. I like writing, so I write. What I write is not always great. The truth is, I don’t work hard enough at it for it to be great. I let words flow and hope for the best. I hope that we will not allow ourselves to be manipulated by lies and intolerance. I hope (my friend Shari is big into hope – she’s wonderful) that we can embrace differences and reject hate. Can’t we all just get along? Oh, by the way, do these pants make me look fat?
11 thoughts on ““You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out””
Love your chrysanthemums, especially the purple one. BTW, I will always hate a racist. I can’t find anything worthy to love about a racist. I will always hate intolerance. I will always hate violence. I will always hate people with guns, who threaten other people’s lives, just because of their political party.
There are certain dogmas when there is no “two sides” of a story. I didn’t comment on your last post purposefully. Since you’re asking for a comment now, this is mine.
Thank you for your comments. Your comments represent a part of the story.
Your Welcome. BTW, I will always hate a liar. Liars hurt people’s reputation, feelings, lives. Liars cause problems where there could have been no problems had the truth been told.
If someone asks me if their hairstyle looks good, outfit, etc., and I think it doesn’t, I will still tell the truth. I will just do it in a nice manner rather than a belittling manner. I remind them it is only my opinion. As the saying goes, “everyone has an opinion like everyone has an a§§hole”.
Appreciate it! My hope is, that if I love the racist, he will see the error of his beliefs and will then choose love. You can’t choose love and be a racist, etc. I am truly an idealist. At my friends funeral last week, the priest said that her superpower was love. If I could choose a superpower, I would choose love.
Racism/Bigotry go together. I loved a racist/bigot man. He was the love of my life. I did not know he was a racist/bigot until after I married him. I’m glad I didn’t have children with him because we would have always been arguing how to raise our children to not be racist. He did not change. I left him after three years.
I believe that an adult’s racism/bigotry cannot be changed with talk or love. I believe racist/bigot adults will not see the error of their beliefs. Racism/Bigotry is within a person’s mindset. Racism/Bigotry is equal to White Superiority. Racism/Bigotry is a deep-seated conditioning from childhood.
I am not sure that teaching the child to not be racist/bigot in schools can be a successful reality. Children would have conflicts with racist/bigot parents which could lead to abuse. I don’t think we will ever be rid of racism and bigotry in the USA or the world.
I am a realist.
Jennie: I’m not sure that I’ve seen that one. Will need to check it out! The great dilemma ………… whether or not to lie to avoid hurting someone’s feelings. I make it a policy not to lie, so sometimes I just have to avoid the questions! Hope you are ready for this weather we are about to get. Today I make the rounds and say goodbye to most of my flowers, but as we know …. Fall is about letting Go. Your pal, Andrea
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Hello friend! I too said farewell to my beautiful blooms today. Be well and happy!
Great post. I’d love to see the story you wrote. For the record, I think you’re a wonderful writer. The problem was the content. People who don’t want to be kind will not heed your worlds. Those folks are right and will always be right. No amount of persuasion or common sense will ebb the tide of hate. Sorry if that sounds negative, but I’ve spent a lot of energy on this topic for months now. I’m pooped and am anxiously waiting the next chapter for our country.
Also, I LOVE Ralphie and his Red Rider BB Gun. It’s one of my favorite Christmas movies.
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My favorite scene is the “Soap Poisoning” scene.
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One of my favorite scenes, too. It’s such a typical kid response.