Saturday, June 01, 2013

Life Lessons in a Movie: After Earth

WARNING: Totally biased review from a Will Smith fan!

After Earth came out this weekend. I have been looking forward to this movie since they first started playing the trailers. I think Will Smith is so very talented. I remember when I first seen/heard Parents Just Don't Understand on Yo!MTV Raps back in the 80's. It was sing-songy-sweet and innocent enough for my parent's to, ironically, understand. So here we are about 25 years after Parents Just Don't Understand. The Fresh Prince is now a father in real life, a husband, and largest donor of the New Village Leadership Academy. I love that he and wife Jada Pinkett are heavily invested in an elementary school and word is that they are looking to expand into high school. I quote their mission statement from their website:
The New Village Leadership Academy is dedicated to the cultivation of powerful, self-educating leaders - men and women of virtue, wisdom and courage. We are nurturing extraordinary thinkers who are capable of creating healthy, happy, purposeful lives - world citizens who inspire greatness in others and propel humankind toward the greater good.
Can there be a better Mission Statement than that? I would want all those things for my children. POWERFUL. Men and women of VIRTUE, WISDOM, COURAGE. EXTRAORDINARY THINKERS. PURPOSEFUL lives; world citizens who INSPIRE GREATNESS in others. I am amazed -- MOVED -- by their mission statement. Frankly, Smith & Pinkett's vision for the future is inspiring and is a perfect intro for the life lessons I learned in After Earth.

Actually, before I list the LIFE LESSONS I have to give some background information about the movie. I mentioned how talented Will Smith is earlier in this post. We can add to his list of accomplishments - DIRECTOR. According to IMDB, Will Smith did most of the directing while M. Night Shyamalan did the artistic work of camera positions and how a scene is composed, etc. Smith was also fully involved in the development of the screenplay and story line. Impressive! Will Smith never ceases to amaze me (I could probably do a full thesis on each of the movies he has appeared in). The movie is chock full of 1-liners that will probably be classics in a few decades but could actually be a guide on becoming our best selves collectively... right now!

So here's my list of lessons I've learned from the movie in my own personal affirmation. I'm not going to explain each of them or how I came to learn a lesson because that would spoil the movie for those who haven't seen it. For those who have seen the movie -- the lessons should spark a memory of the movie.

1. Fear is manufactured. Even in the face of danger, I will not let fear be my guide.
2. I will take deep breaths and ground myself in the earth to clear my mind.
3. I will allow all the good things that my parents have taught me be my guide especially when they are gone from my life.
4. I will never take for granted the beauty and magnificence of Mother Earth.
5. I am on my own journey and I can do hard things.
6. I will change the negative stories in my life, deal with them, put them to rest then charge full speed ahead..... NO FEAR!!!

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