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Hope, Happiness, and Reality TV

September 10th, 2009 No comments

75px-Monarch_In_MayI stumbled across a little 20 minute movie the other day.  It is called the “Butterfly Circus”.  The movie takes place in the 1930s when America was locked into a deep depression.  It is a very thought provoking movie about hope and happiness.  It raised some questions for me and it answered some.

I remember going to the fair when I was a child and being fascinated by the “freak show”.  The three legged man, the very tiny lady, the tattooed man.  Since those shows are not part of the culture of the fairs and carnivals, now, I have often wondered if we have transferred that same curiosity  to reality TV.  I have wondered if reality TV is so popular because people want to believe someone is more screwed up then they are.  It seems like the same mentality as going to the freak show at the carnival.  To be politically correct, they would now be called “side shows”.

Those side shows in by gone days, like reality TV, are similar to taking a drink of salt water when you have been lost at sea for a week with no fresh water.  It might be what we feel we need at the moment to give us that momentary feeling of quenching our thirst (superiority), but in the long run it leaves us thirstier and more dehydrated.  But, as the owner of the Butterfly Circus says, “there is nothing inspiring about a man’s imperfection.”  When we watch these kinds of things, are we temporarily quenching our feelings of  our own imperfections and hopelessness?  Or,  are we locking ourselves into the despair of our own personal freak show?

Everyone of us has our own “stuff” to deal with.  That is life.  If looking at others “stuff” makes us feel better for a short time,is that harmful or just fun?  When we look at someone who is living a successful life we see their passion.  It is easy to only see that passion and not realize that they have had “stuff” to deal with also.  The most successful people have often times had the biggest pile of “stuff”to dig through.  A quote from the movie says it best, “The bigger the trial the more glorious the triumph”.

Through our adversities we find our strength.  If things are easy, and we are always carried, how can we learn to get up after a fall?  The best habit we can form is to surround ourselves with people who will encourage us but not carry us.

What we believe about ourselves colors our perceptions.  If we believe we live a “hard luck life” then that is the color we paint on every perception.  We make our choices by what we perceive and focus on.  We can focus on those that make fun of us, or we can focus on those that encourage us.

Maybe, we will never know why we encounter the challenges that we do.  I know others can find their own hope in seeing us conquer our challenges.  It gives them hope that they can, also,  overcome their adversities.  Like the caterpillar emerging from the cocoon as a butterfly, the growth is in the struggle.  If we make the mistake of letting someone else extract us from our cocoon, like the butterfly freed from its cocoon too early by the curious and helpful child,  our wings will never support our weight.  They will be withered, puny and we will never fly.

I encourage your to watch this 20 minute movie, The Butterfly Circus, and see what it means to you.  Leave me a comment.  I am interested in what you get out of the movie.