Yesterday I watched a film I’ve always enjoyed. “Good Will Hunting” with Matt Damon, Robin Williams and a host of other good actors.I’m sure you’ve seen the film already so I won’t labour over a description but the reason I mention it is this.
One man, in a position to do so, sees another man and, for reasons of his own, moves heaven and earth to free him from his demons and release the potential he sees within . I am always moved by the sense of unfulfilled potential within us all and the way we thrash and writhe against constraints and limitations imposed by life and ourselves to express it. As they say, it may be the journey is the point of it all and not the destination. In real life many people are caring, but are too busy trying to pick themselves up , let alone help others to make sense of themselves. In most cases, “Will” would have succeded in keeping the world at bay with his cutting repartee, at least until he was a lot older. Given that, for one man having the time and completeness to focus so thoroughly on another, as they do in the film, is almost unimaginable.
My childhood was bleak and largely loveless. Sadly this does not make me unique or especially unusual. In fact a little reading tells me that my experience is neither unusual or extraordinary. It is painful to me but you can’t win them all. There is a women, Barbara, whose story I have been reading recently, whose childhood difficulties together with the character she showed during them made me gasp with horror and admiration at the same time. Compared to her beginnings mine was a walk in the park. Unlike the image posed in mainstream cinema, for many of us, it takes a lifetime to get over your childhood.
I have never met this women, and almost certainly never will but her story shows the unforgettable tale so many have within us if only we can find out what it is. How she picked herself up and made something of herself after that start is beyond me. I have seen so much talent, insight and quality in those around me that sometimes I wonder where to put it all. The sadness is that we waste a lot of time speaking “brochure speak”. Being what the world expects: fueled by fear. More often than not we can dress to hide our unease and to be noticed for what we are not rather than what we are. We use our abilities as part of the costume rather than to celebrate the spring of potential waiting to flower within us. By helping each other we sometimes gain the courage to help ourselves.
History is marked as much by emotions as events. In the face of these we can express either anger or acceptance. What happened to me: I met a girl and she made me feel safe. Gave me the chance to look around and see what I had got. Feeling safer, I gained the courage to examine myself and see the world afresh: to face the traumas of my youth and begin to move on from them. Given my beginnings I have always been moved by the happiness of others and signs that they have escaped their self-imposed concentration camp of limitations . Now I am beginning to do this for myself.Why tell the whole world about it. Because at this point the world is all we have.