"Success, recognition, and conformity are the bywords of the modern world where everyone seems to crave the anaesthetizing security of being identified with the majority."
-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
"What Would Jack Pearson Do?" I think I might start asking myself this question now. Obviously, we still don't know how Jack died but I hope it is something heroic... I really do.
Sorry let me backtrack. This Is Us is one of the best shows on TV. It is right up there with The Flash.
Randall is getting so overwhelmed with balancing his family, trying to be there for his dying father, a demanding job and trying to be perfect. It is causing him to shut down and break down. His brother Kevin is trying to reinvent his acting career and thinks he is going to fail completely. He goes to seek advice from his step father Miguel, and Miguel tells Kevin that when Kevin is not sure what to do, just think about what his father Jack would have done? With that knowledge Kevin leaves and goes to get ready for his show. 5 minutes before the show begins he gets a phone call from Randall. Kevin hears in Randall's voice that he is breaking down. Kevin runs away from the show and goes to be there from his brother, because Kevin just did what Jack would have done.
At this, you, as an audience member are getting tissues and are looking for your Kevin to hold you, as you begin to sob like Randall.
Religion Declining and Movie Attendance Increasing
Recently Russell Brand created a video about Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, finding God. A couple of minutes into the video he makes a point of saying that there is a correlation between the decline of western religious attendance and an increase of movie attendance. Russell Brand asks that "if Christianity is declining, then who is providing the moral barometer for society?" He believes it is big businesses, specifically fantasy films. The top three grossing movies of 2016 in the U.S. were Finding Dory, Captain America: Civil War, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
All are owned by Disney, and have made a combined $4.5 billion dollars just in Theaters and Home Markets, not including merchandise.
If Religion is Declining, The Message of Love Is Not
Now, I don't want to debate Russell Brand especially cause these are just numbers. Can we look for a positive? I think of Dr. King, in his book, Strength to Love. He talks about being a transformed nonconformist - a person who has been transformed by love and is choosing not to get caught up in what the majority would do or expect you to do. We hope it can be a deep rooted transformation in a person, but sometimes it can happen for a moment, like when we leave something important to simply hold someone who needs our love at that moment.