Monday, February 22, 2010

Will It Even Matter?

I swear I must have been one of the last people on the planet to see Avatar. I know I wasn’t the very last, because my friend who I went with hadn’t sent it yet either. At the very least we tied for last place.

I wasn’t planning on seeing it. In fact, I hadn’t even heard of it until like two days before it opened and my husband happened to be watching Jay Leno one night when Sam Worthington (Jake Sully) was on. I have a pretty strong affinity for Australia, so my ears definitely perked up when he started talking. Let’s just say I love my DVR, I don’t read news, and don’t listen to the radio. So I was actually the last person on the planet to hear about it.

Soon after my minister at Unity Church started to tout it saying it was the best movie ever.

“Really?” I thought to myself, “That weird thing with the blue people on Leno the other night?” Hmmm…

The following week he gave an entire talk on Avatar, and I cried during the meditation afterwards. It was a story that was very familiar to me from my work for the Colorado Run for Congo Women. Outsiders come into ones land, raping the earth for its resources, and raping the women and children too, just to secure their ability to rape the land indefinitely. The war in the Democratic Republic of Congo has killed over 5.4 million people, injured women and girls physically and psychologically; all for the sake of natural resources. Natural resources we rely on everyday for use in cell phones, laptops, and Wii’s, just to name a few.

Yes. It was a story very dear to my heart; I decided I would see the movie.

I loved every minute of it. The effects were awesome. The story line was fascinating. The planet Pandora was breathtaking. I mean seriously, tell me who wouldn’t want to live there? Although, I might actually be able to do without all the big mammals with extremely large teeth. Avatar had everything that makes up a true Hollywood blockbuster.

Yet, I have found myself in the few days post Avatar in a haze, feeling somewhat despondent, frustrated, and left wondering; wondering if the movie would make any difference at all.

I was in Australia, some ten years ago, at a hippy, earth festival listening to speakers passionate about the planet. That evening I said, “Well, they are speaking to the masses. The problem is how to get others who don’t have that view to listen.” I felt awful at the time, and many times since for speaking my thoughts aloud, but can’t help thinking about that now.

Will Avatar change anything?

I know from the people I have already talked to, people who inspire me from their works to help those around the world, that it mattered to them. What I am left pondering is if there was any conversion of the non-believers, those that think it is every man for himself. That there is no reason to live in harmony with our mother, the system we rely on for life, that what matters is how much money you make by any means necessary. Were they just entertained by a tree being blown up?

Only time will tell.

But I hope. I hope beyond hope, that the story will be taken to heart, because that story is playing out today, on our planet, to real human beings.


Ann said...

Hope is what we have, and it is powerful. Every new effort made to raise awareness in the world gives me tremendous hope, and though time can only tell, hope is miraculous!

Jen Parsons said...

Thanks Ann, you are right. As my sister said to me recently, a journey of a 1000 miles begins with one step...