zondag 28 april 2019

Day 362 - The Measure of a Man (Film 2015)

I recently saw the French movie named 'La Loi du Marché' which should have been translated as 'The Law of the Market' but instead you will find translated as 'The Measure of a Man'.

In this story the main character faces unemployment after having been fired from his previous job. He then faces the bureaucracy of the supporting organisations that exist to offer him support with getting him hired again, but he soon realises that these mostly exist to keep him busy and going in circles. Within this process he faces a lot of stress because he has a son who is handicapped and who requires a lot of expensive care and special treatment. Additionally he has not yet fully paid off the loan on their house.

When he then finds a job again he is faced with internal conflict as he is made to perform tasks that he feels 'bad' about. He is namely hired as a security agent to control the shopping behavior of customers in a large grocery store. As he is introduced into his role, which involves learning how to operate all the security camera's in the store, he learns that he must not only check on the customers but also on the employees of the store. In effect, his task is also to make sure that employees do not steal from the store.

The strength of this movie is in showing the reality of people, both customers and employees alike, not being able to make ends meet and who will be compelled to steal in a grocery store. Most people who are caught stealing seem to be people who simply don't have enough money to buy the things they would like or which they require. This will place the main character in a difficult position as his testimony as a security agent will be used to fire those employees who have been caught stealing. This causes him heartache because he knows exactly what they are going through as he has been there himself.

In one particular instance the firing of an employee leads to a suicide as the person could no longer support herself and she had a son with drug problems. After this and a few more instances, the main character one day decides to walk away from his job as he is disgusted with himself and what he has to do for money.

This is where I want to offer perspective.

As much as I can understand the reaction of the main-character, the actual answer was not within walking away from his job. The system and the world we live in is a cruelty beyond words - but it is one which we have created collectively. This means that the system nor any part of it can be judged or 'rejected' - it has to be 'walked' so as to understand ourselves and how we created this. We have been brainwashed to believe that 'standing up' means to fight the system, but this is not so. Standing up means first and foremost taking responsibility for ourselves and 'who we are' as the version of 'life' we have become. Are we proud of ourselves in thought, word and deed or are we ashamed of the things we secretly think and participate in in our minds? How can we judge the system when we cannot even stop our own secret thoughts of spitefulness towards eachother? The only real change is inner change and only then can a new system emerge. 

For more information about what it means to take responsibility for oneself, visit:

zondag 7 april 2019

Day 361 - The Unexpected Failure of the Superhero

What is it that makes super-hero movies so appealing, when in fact they have the most predictable storylines of all the movies out there?

For me the part I enjoy and look for, is the aspect of pushing beyond one’s limitations. If you take any of the superhero movies, the common structure of all the stories is that the superhero will be faced with a challenge that is beyon his capacities – something that he has not faced yet.

In other words the superhero has to completely step out of his comfort zone and give it all he or she’s got and even more – to be able to surmount the challenge he or she is faced with.

The superhero in effect has to move through „the eye of the needle“ in order to succeed.

The one thing that is perhaps artificial within this story line is that the viewer is already expecting the super hero to succeed. Somehow, failure is not quite possible or highly unlikely.

I would say that in real life situations, the risk of failure is much more real and pertinent. In other words, in real life there are actually no guarantees to succeeding at something – whereas in superhero movies this guarantee seems to be implicit (because we paid for seeing the superhero succeed and not for seeing him fail isn’t it?).

I would say that in real life situations it is not so much about achieving the result that is perceived to be ‚success‘ but about walking through one’s limitations regardless of the actual result. To give a practical example: A week ago me and my partner were scheduled to participate in a flea market in the city. This is something we have often done in the past and we have always done it together. But on the day of the fea market, unexpectedly my partner was ill, and we had already paid a reservation cost to participate in the fleamarket. At this point I was ready to walk away from doing the fleamarket regardless of the money I had already paid – yet when we dicussed this together the point came up of: why don’t I go alone? At first I dimissed this idea because of the perception that ‚this is not my thing‘ – yet when looking at it again there was a little flame in me that lit up. I saw that it could actually be interesting for me to do it alone as a way to test myself. I then stated to my partner that I would go by myself and we were both happy with this decision. I went by myself as a means to create a little adventure and to push myself out of my comfort zone. It was indeed a lot of work because of having to find a spot to park the car and then unload all the items to my selling location and then setting up everything – but it worked out fine and I could get going with selling our stuff. In fact I did not sell a lot on that day. I just made enough money to cover for the reservation cost which from an „investment“ perpective would have meant that the fleamarket was a failure – but for me it wasn’t, because I found satisfaction in the fact that I had simply pushed myself to do something that I would normally not have done and that I could show to myself that i am able to act independently.

This is why process is not about ‚the picture‘ as ‚success‘ but about self-honesty and doing what is best for all and best for self.   


For more information about writing, self-forgiveness and applying self-change, visit: http://desteni.org
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