Not long ago while talking with someone I’ve known for literally all of her 54 years, she mentioned that she and her husband had watched a movie the night before and she wondered if I’d seen it. I said I had. From there, she went on to describe the visceral reaction she’d had to the plot and especially to the main character. She continued for several minutes and while she and I both understood the film’s story, our levels of emotional investment in it were vastly different.
I acknowledged the selfishness and irresponsibility of the character’s life choices, saw the consequences of her actions, and felt both sadness and sympathy for her (as well as for those who’d been impacted by her past behavior). I liked that before the credits ran, there’d been some healing and viewers were left feeling that imperfection doesn’t have to equate to lifelong unhappiness. I like too that they didn’t give it some sappy Hallmark ending; things weren’t sprinkled with glitter and tied with a pretty bow. Instead I was left to believe there was a roll of ribbon nearby and the folks involved would likely tie it into a messy but attractive enough bow that might ravel a bit at the edges but would hold the package together well enough. And really, the film had no lasting impact one way or another for me. It was one of those seen and quickly forgotten.
My friend acknowledged the selfishness and irresponsibility of the character’s life choices, saw the consequences of her actions, and felt a deep, seething anger toward her. She hated the idea of even partial redemption and was downright pissed when the credits ran. She wanted this woman stomped and bleeding, left to suffer a lonely and painful end. When I pointed out that such an outcome would also require the other chartacters to be left with gaping wounds, she got testy and ended the conversation.
The difference between our take-away on the film? Core beliefs. Mine are different from hers, so our interpretation of this film (and life in general, really) weren’t at all the same. We watched the exact same scenes, heard the exact same dialogue, and both intellectually understood the story. Yet were we to recap the movie, we’d definitely tell very different tales, both believing we were speaking only truth as seen through the lens of our core beliefs. Ain’t that life?
Earlier today, a bunch of folks posted links to this piece that addresses how our core beliefs impact the way we feel about what we see and even how they influence whether or we accept something as true—even when presented with solid evidence of its validity. It’s interesting and worth a read. Be sure to stick with it to the end. I suppose I should add that if you’re especially sensitive to profanity, you might not want to clickety-click, but they’re just words and in my opinion, there are worse ones, like “okra” and “kale chips.”
~*~ Today’s image courtesy of pexels ~ Free and fabulous. ~*~