Pay it forward

I watched Pay It Forward last night, a film based on a book by Catherine Ryan Hyde starring Haley Joel Osment as a kid who comes up with an amazing social experiment. To fulfil a class assignment to change the world, he does one big favour for three other people (something they can’t do for themselves) and each of them does the same for three other people. As you can imagine, it gets big pretty quick. His teacher, who gave out the assignment, was a burn victim and ended up dating Haley Joel’s mom. That was one of Haley’s “favours” – finding his damaged teacher someone to love, namely his mom.

His mom is a recovering alcoholic who is not supposed to date in her first year of sobriety. Sounds familiar: a year without sex or dating. In the movies, however, recovering alcoholics always date right after getting sober and magically find exactly the right person and fall in love and have this healthy relationship they’ve never found before. I have the feeling in real life it doesn’t work that way.

And that’s what I have to be careful of – the trap of falling for the lie movies tell about the perfect person being out there waiting for you and that someone or something just needs to happen to facilitate that and you’ll live happily ever after. And that life couldn’t possibly be complete without that person. I also couldn’t help thinking that in these movies it’s always the man that’s physically deformed. We women are supposed to look past the surface but men are never asked to do that, at least not in the movies. That’s troubling to me. Is it wrong to want a handsome man? Isn’t a handsome man just as capable of being good inside as an ugly one?

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hello. I like your blog. You know, I think each person is responsible for their own happiness. I know I am. The way I look at paying it forward, I like to keep it simple: to be grateful for what I have. Good job on your blog. 🙂

    • That’s a good philosophy and being grateful help brings more good stuff into your life. It works; I’ve tried it.


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