Where George Clooney And I Don't See Eye To Eye

My sore throat seems to have transformed into a full on sinus thingy. It's awesome. I'm pretty excited about it. Nothing says party like a headache and free flowing snot. I would have just gone to bed (like a smart sick person) but I wanted to talk briefly about the movie Up In The Air.

In case you are unfamiliar and don't care to click the link, Up In The Air is nominated for best picture by the Academy and stars George Clooney as a man that flies all over the country firing people. The way it works is that companies hire him to fire their employees so they don't have to. Essentially he distances himself from any meaningful relationships on purpose as a way to keep his "baggage light" and he considers himself home when he is "Up in the air" flying, thus the title of the film.

Even though the movie has a big name actor in the main role it has a definite independent film feel. It's character driven which makes it likable since, let's be honest, George Clooney is likable. He doesn't talk enough to be considered annoying and he has a charming smile. He's great in the role and you like him. Other then that I liked the music a lot. If you are considering watching this movie I feel compelled to warn you that the language is pretty rough. You have been warned.

All right, so, Ryan's (Clooney's character) whole schtick, his life mantra if you will, is outlined in a speech he gives using a backpack as an example.


The gist of it goes something like this. He asks the audience to mentally fill the backpack with all their possessions. You know from your house right down to your toothbrush. Then he asks to you to imagine that he lit the bag on fire. What would you save?

It's a thought provoking question. What would you save? Being honest what's the first thing that comes to mind? OK so I'm going to tell you what I would try to save. I know that I might be called out as a liar for this one but I've never lied to you before so you are just going to have to trust me on this. If I was standing outside of that bag with my husband at my side and my children safely in my arms, I can not think of a darn think I would risk reaching my hand into the burning bag for. I own a lot of stuff and I really like most of it (except for the toys, I hate toys.), but I would let it burn. I suspect that I'd cry. Mourn the loss of my things that I had built attachments to. Think about all of the work it took to accumulate those things. Although on some level I might feel liberated from the weight of them. Which, of course, is the point of the exercise.

He then empties the bag (metaphorically still) and asks us to fill it with the people in our lives. All of them. From the guy that pumps your gas to your spouse and children. He does not light this bag on fire. He does however go on to talk about how the relationships we allow into our lives are the heaviest things we have.  It's true. I imagine there isn't a person reading this blog that wouldn't rush head first into a burning bag to save someone they love. We become responsible for the people we allow into our lives. Does this mean we should streamline our relationships? Only allow the truly important people in? Should we disregard certain people to lighten our load?

The more I think about this the more I think of the song that says, " He ain't heavy, he's my brother." (is that how that goes? I'm working through a headache and what I suspect is a slight fever. I'm not sure about the fever because my thermometer fell into the toilet and has gone to the great medicinal graveyard in the sky. Yes, that really happened.)

Take for example, our kids. Raising children is a huge responsibility. It's heavy and not just the whole keeping them alive part. We are responsible for teaching them everything they will believe, what they will stand for, how they will treat others, how they will treat themselves and how they will prioritize these things. We make or break them. They are like soft clay and we impress on them without even trying. It's a heavy burden. And one I would risk my whole life to rush into a burning bag to save. Why? Because of the human connection. Human connection is a gift from God. It's something we need. If we didn't, why would God have given Eve to Adam? Why would he want us to multiply?

We need human connection. It's why we marry, have friends, stay in touch with family. It's even why we blog. I guess my point is that some burdens aren't heavy at all. They are actually gifts, even on the hard days.

20 comments:

Steph said...

Stopping by from SITS...

Interesting take on Up in the Air. I honestly just liked the way he methodically packed. LOL

Anonymous said...

This is a beautiful post.I think your priorities are really in order.-mom-

Bellsys said...

I agree, nice post. It makes you think... and in this crazy world, to stop and think would help us realize all we do have and maybe appreciate it more. Have a blessed day!

Yankee Girl said...

This was a great post, very though provoking.

I am sure I am going to be thinking about those things all day today!

Ms Bibi said...

The Up In The Air is actually playing tonight in our tow. I think I will go see it tonight.

Wonderful post. So well written. I think I would save my kids scrapbooks and that's about it.Stuff can be replaced as long as I have people I love with me.

Amanda said...

WHAT a great post. I'm so with you. Things aren't as important to me as the people in my life. Things can be replaced; people can't.

And that's exactly why I blog, too. It's not to get hits, or money, or comments; it's to build relationships, share my life and learn about others, maybe make some friendships out of the whole thing!

Thanks for the uplifting post this morning :)

foxy said...

What an excellent post! Definitely food for thought...

Sarah and the Gentlemen said...

First, I'm very sorry about your thermometer. May it rest in peace.

I like this a lot. I have been in the place where I contemplated that I might just lose it all and I came to the conclusion that if I did, I would still have my family and that is a good thing. People are what is eternal and hence really matter.

JoeyRes said...

I've never even heard of that movie which goes to show you how up on things I am.

Sometimes the people backpack really does weigh me down, but you're right on when you point out: without that kind of weight there's no point in any of it.

Cyndi @ 6 Ring Circus said...

I really liked the movie too, but had the same problem with GC's character's outlook. It's a good thing he's hot. :o)

coach said...

I agree with my wife and as long as my family was safe I would be good.

However, if this was Bills Season and the Season Tickets were inside then I might have something to think about lol.

Acting Balanced Mom said...

stopping by from sits - lovely post!

Renee Weatherford said...

Great post - defenately makes you think! Stopping by via Lady Bloggers :)

Grilled Cheese said...

You know, I saw that movie and wasn't quite sure what to do with myself at the end.

I liked George and I liked the younger co-star that traveled with him.

And yet, at the end... I just sat there, staring at the screen. Then, I looked at my mom with the that same funny expression and said, "What the hell?"

I'm still not sure if I liked it.

Grand Pooba said...

What a great attitude!

Dione said...

Sometimes I like to turn off the radio and pray while I'm driving. Tonight, as I was driving home from a bridal shower for my daughter given by a dear family friend, I pondered all the blessings in my life. And I thought of all the people who love my daughter - who love me. It made me so happy. I am full of joy! I loved your post. Thank you! People rock!

Debbie said...

Any post about or including George is a welcome thing! Great points here too, but mostly I like the George:)

The Boob Nazi said...

I haven't seen it, but it sounds so interesting. Also, I'd reach into a burning bag for my purses and sunglasses. Yes, I am that shallow.

Queenie Jeannie said...

Well seeing how I HATE George Clooney and won't see anything he's in...thank you for the great lesson of the movie! I loved your take on it, whether fever induced or not!

Feel better soon!!!

Spot On Your Pants said...

Well, I'd save the entire Twlight Series. Vampires don't burn well, you know. :-) It's a good analogy. I think a lot about it since my dad died this year. Now we have basically two of everything. Kinda makes me think a little differently of arson. Feel better soon!