Sunday, May 21, 2006

An Unfinished Life

My mom recommended this movie. I could tell from her email that it really hit home with her. We don't always agree on movies, but I put it on my list.

Last night I was hanging out with a friend. She mentioned that she had rented a few movies, and wouldn't you know, an unfinished life was one of them.

I can see why it resonated so strongly with my mom. The movie explores themes of forgiveness, making peace with the choices we've made and how those choices affect others. In one poignant scene, the main character (who lost her husband in a car accident, and has since made a series of poor choices in boyfriends) says to her daughter, "I always think of you first!," to which the daughter replies, "Then it should start to show."

Earlier in the evening, at church, the message was on parenting. One of the key points was the influence of modeling and that 80% of children cite their parents as the #1 model for their moral ideals.

Something I've been mulling over for awhile is the idea that we have two opportunities with each choice we make. First we do something, then we choose to either reinforce or repair that action. For example, if I get into a disagreement with someone and say something rather unloving, I did something wrong, probably more out of emotion than choice. However, if I choose not to go back to that person, apologize and make amends, then I am intentionally choosing to reinforce that hurtful sentiment. From a spiritual perspective, I believe our conscience (empowered by the Holy Spirit) brings to mind when we're in need of repairing a situation. If we choose to follow through, to repair the harm we've done, we maintain our sensitivity. If we choose to ignore those promptings, we harden our hearts and it becomes more difficult to do the right thing.

What I like about this movie is that every character has a pretty understandable reason to be bitter or angry about life's circumstances, and it realistically shows the consequences for how they choose to respond to the life they've been given.

Thanks, Mom!

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