Movies are funny things. We use them to entertain us, sometimes to help us forget our workaday world. Good storytellers beckon us from the opening scene, reel our hearts and minds in, catapult us into a world of adventure, and boldly take us where few have gone before. Then the soundtrack fades away, the houselights temporarily blind us and there we sit, legs cramped from sitting still too long, a little dizzy from the dazzling multicolor pixels, and so very grounded to this earth.
Remember that symbol you learned in math?
Less than. Sometimes when I see a movie with a hero ten feet tall on the big, big screen, that’s how I feel at the end. < . My little, little life does not compare to the wonders of the heroes of old. Or even the achievement of the heroes of new. Already I am 40 years old and I have not discovered any cures for grave diseases, invented technology to simplify daily life or turned around the economic outlook for a community. < .
Those same 40 years of life, however, have taught me something else–a different definition of important and brave. Let me tell you a story that no one will ever make into a movie. I was a teenager once. I know. Hard to believe. Every day I drove to school and drove home. I was a good student and a generally nice kid who got along with most everyone. Every day as I drove down the street just outside that 3 story ancient brick building I saw a girl walking alone. I had met her at the beginning of the school year at an Honor Society function I think. Something inside me felt a little bad each day seeing her walking alone. Alone is a really hard place to be as a teenager. Mostly the unspoken goal during those years is to never be by yourself. Many fifteen year olds pay dearly in ways they never thought they would just to avoid being alone. And there she was, EVERY day alone.
One day it was raining. Not the light sprinkle of a daily tropical palm watering in Florida. Pouring down rain. Windshield-wipers-racing-to-the-left-and-right-and-still-losing-to the-raindrops Michigan downpour. Turning out of the parking lot cautiously, there she was. Walking home alone again, in the rain, without an umbrella. This is when the still, small voice inside spoke. “Offer her a ride.”
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