Weapons, like health, create peculiar (yet very specific) images in our minds, don’t you think? I find that weapons tend to have strict descriptive guidelines: for example, weapons tend to be made of metal, wood, iron…strong elements for fending OFF “the enemy.” Health, although a seemingly strange comparison to weapons, also takes on an image of its own: hospitals, doctors, medications, active lifestyles, eating vegetables…you get the idea. Here I go with an Unexpected Health tidbit: weapons are healthy and therefore, create health.
Of course you should know by now that I fully intend to explain my wildly, seemingly absurd correlation. Here it goes: today I finally saw the movie, “Invictus.” For those of you who have not seen it, here’s my quick Robert Ebert plug: SEE IT. I give it 4 stars, 2 thumbs up, an Academy Award nomination, an MTV Viewer’s Choice Award…whatever it takes to get you to spend that insane amount of money to sit in a movie theater and watch this movie. It is worth E-V-E-R-Y penny. Anyway, this movie talks about, displays, and exhibits what it truly means to put the past behind you and move forward. At one point, Nelson Mandela says, “Forgiveness is a powerful weapon.” When I heard these words uttered through the movie screen speakers, I immediately thought about the ads I had just seen and the conversation I had just had. As I sat and watched the pre-previews, I saw calls–advertisements, I guess–to become a part of the National Guard, the Army, and I think the Marines. When I heard Mandela say that sentence, I immediately saw the pieces come flying together (and now realize where most of our inspirational cards and signs originate from-the South African president himself). Weapons can be a part of health and healing. I will not give away the plot. But it will not “spoil” the movie’s ending by saying that Mandela proves this to be true: that a weapon can be a wonderful addition to our “belt buckle,” our “holster,” of life. People who voluntarily sign up to work in the armed forces are doing so (at least I would imagine) because they love their country; they believe in a greater purpose and they are willing to fight in torrential rains, sand storms, and other extreme conditions to prove their dedication. The weapon they enlist with is not a gun, a knife, or a grenade. It is a powerful weapon of dedication, loyalty, and love. Weapons do not have to be items that we use to kill and harm others with. Having discovered this unexpected tidbit of insight, this prompted me to look up the word, “Weapon.” Among the many killing-related definitions in Encarta’s Dictionary, one that struck me as promising was, “something to gain advantage.” What would happen if we used weapons for healing? I wonder how my life would be different if I had love and forgiveness on my “holster” of coping mechanisms instead of fear and loathing (in Las Vegas or anywhere)? What if I chose to “gain advantage” not by trying to better myself to others but instead created an advantageous situation benefiting all parties involved? I’m not trying to make a political cry about the war in Afghanistan. I really have no solid ground of which to place my soapbox on. But I do know that we have many battles on our own home front. If Mandela could get a nation to so much as begin the process of reconciliation after so many years of hardship, why can’t we make peace with our neighbor? I think weapons–when used in a positive context–can fight many battles…especially those battles within. Wars are not foreign to American soil. They occur on our own dirt…in our own backyards. If you want to read the poem that this movie is named after (and it IS worth reading), check out: http://www.wordinfo.info/words/index/info/view_unit/3981. -Until tomorrow, Jaime
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