Editorial Page

You’re Young, Keep Trying To Find Inspiration

Inspiration is a priceless commodity that is readily available in endless places, physical and spiritual, if only we keep our eyes and minds open to find it.

It’s in front of you.

Sometimes behind you.

Always near you. Literally.

What type of inspiration would greatly benefit you depends upon where you are currently at in life.

Hopefully in a good place but let’s face it, sometimes not.

Why don’t we travel to some of those places and then as we love to do, visit the movie theater.

So often it is a great teacher.

Are you in a place where life has knocked you down or you have suffered losses and are somewhat despondent? Sometimes after viewing what someone else in real life has gone through to find their way back to a life of hope and promise might inspire you.

Comparisons are inevitable.

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Soul Surfer is a 2011 American biographical drama film directed by Sean McNamara, based on the 2004 autobiography Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board by Bethany Hamilton about her life as a surfer after a horrific shark attack and her recovery.

Bethany, a champion surfer, lost almost all of her left arm. One month later, she was back on a surfboard and has since won several championships.

All of those are remarkable and inspirational feats.

The film stars AnnaSophia Robb, Helen Hunt, Dennis Quaid, and Lorraine Nicholson with Carrie Underwood, Kevin Sorbo, Sonya Balmores, Branscombe Richmond, and Craig T. Nelson.

Filming took place in Hawaii in early 2010, with additional filming taking place in Tahiti in August 2010.

The scenery in the movie is often mesmerizing and breathtaking.

The film was released in theaters on April 8, 2011 in the United States and Canada and was a commercial success, earning $47.1 million on an $18 million budget, but received mixed reviews from critical audiences.

Here is one of them.

From the master reviewers at rogerebert.com they analyze, “I realize she is a great athlete. But I feel something is missing. There had to be dark nights of the soul. Times of grief and rage. The temptation of nihilism. The lure of despair. Can a 13-year-old girl lose an arm and keep right on smiling?

The flaw in the storytelling strategy of “Soul Surfer” is that it doesn’t make Bethany easy to identify with. She’s almost eerie in her optimism. Her religious faith is so unshaken, it feels taken for granted. The film feels more like an inspirational parable than a harrowing story of personal tragedy.”

Must it be a harrowing story of personal tragedy to be inspirational?

Must it be horrific and filled with despair to be deep and meaningful?

“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.”…Aristotle

We feel for a story like this to be inspirational, it doesn’t have to be filled with dark moments, but in all fairness, it would make it easier to identify with if it was.

Having said all of that, if the story inspires you, then that is something to hold onto. That could be enough. Even it does take place in the ocean and the clouds.

Another pathway, not necessarily of despair, but of an awareness that life is passing you by because you failed to take risks, you listened to other well-meaning but played it safe voices and now you find your life safe, but lacking in passion and meaning.

One day you will be old just like everyone else and no matter what others think, you will privately know something very important was lost.

Have you experienced that?

We have.

More than once.

Inspiration may come from watching someone who initially did the very same thing but made a decision to risk it all, start over and pursue what they loved.

Perhaps at middle age.

It doesn’t always work out. That’s why it is called a risk.

But when it does work out, it is an incredible life re-direction.

Have you ever seen those captivating paintings of little girls with really big eyes? They are haunting and thought provoking.

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Big Eyes is a 2014 American biographical drama film directed by Tim Burton, written by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski and starring Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz.

The film is about the life of American artist Margaret Keane who is famous for drawing portraits and paintings with big eyes. It follows the story of Margaret and her husband, Walter Keane, who took credit for Margaret’s phenomenally successful and popular paintings in the 1950s and 1960s.

It follows the lawsuit and trial between Margaret and Walter, after Margaret reveals she is the true artist behind the paintings.

The film was met with positive reviews, praising the performances of both Adams and Waltz, with Adams winning the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical and was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role.

What we found inspiring in watching the film was how she, as a person of low self-esteem, slowly found her voice and then the courage to strike out on her own, away from her seemingly questionable husband.

For women today, that would seem like a natural course of action. Throw the bum out. Back in the 1950’s and early 60’s, for most women, that would be a terrifying prospect.

That was the aspect of the film that inspired us most.

At times in this somewhat fearful life, especially when you are a person of low self-esteem and your voice is drowned out by the voices of those more prominent and influential in your circle, please remember, you are the one allowing them to have that power over you.

You don’t have to. It really is up to you to change that.

For your sake. Margaret’s story can inspire that courage in you.

“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.”…Ralph Waldo Emerson

We can find our inspiration from many individuals from all corners of the globe. Be they entrepreneurs, thespians, athletes or a low key person in our circle who quietly decided to take a risk and live the life they really wanted, surprising and shocking most in our circle.

If you are a college student, look to your friends who are most likely from different communities. Their take on life may provide you with a new and enlightening perspective.

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Ultimately real change for each one us emanates from the same quiet and sometimes most frightening place on earth.

Where is that?

We have to keep looking within.

The answer is always there.

~ ~ ~

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soul_Surfer_(film)

https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/soul-surfer-2011

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Eyes

https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/inspirational

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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