No one should bury her head in the sand about the reality of our politics, culture, and media. But we also shouldn’t ignore our past trials and how we’ve managed to come together in even more divided times.
More and more I’m seeing journalists, celebrities, and average Joes express a distrust of their fellow Americans because of the amplification of a minuscule minority of extremists. It is somewhat understandable because these extremists have done big things, and have been given large platforms to spew their terrible opinions. Yet it’s also based on false and unhealthy perceptions.
If you’re having a hard time trusting your neighbors or the strangers in your town because of the current cultural climate, it might be time to reset your brain to remind yourself that everything isn’t awful and your fellow American is probably decent person who may have different politics than you. Whether you blame the president or the media or the right or the left, America feels more divided than ever.
Yet, after just a few hours of cleansing with some great art, a hopefulness about humanity and your fellow Americans can be restored. Might I humbly suggest that if everyone took time to give themselves a reset with great stories of Americans coming together for the greater good, we might all have a little less intensity––and a little more goodwill––about the big questions of our time?
Here are seven movies that can help you in that endeavor. Enjoy!
“…here tonight we have apples and oranges, but in the end we’re all fruits.”
We have so many examples in our country of wildly different cultures and backgrounds coming together to make new families. It often involves a lot of humor. MBFGW is a great reminder to celebrate our amazing melting pot.
2. “Remember the Titans”
“Sometimes life is hard for no reason at all.”
Communities, even deeply divided ones, can come together. It may be impossible to change everyone’s mind, but you can change a lot of them, so give people a chance to change their minds and their souls.
3. “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” (Also accepted: the remake “Guess Who”)
“There is nothing that your son feels for my daughter that I didn’t feel for Christina.”
While I certainly don’t consider the remake to be equal to the original, some days you just want to laugh more than cry, and the remake will most certainly make you laugh. Both movies convey the important message that we have more things that unite us rather than divide us, and the greatest thing that unites us is our capacity to love.
“You become an adult when you decide to do right … not just for you, but for everybody … even when it hurts.”
This whimsical movie is about a small town that comes together to help a man who is suffering a debilitating delusion. Kindness and understanding is the strongest medicine for the mind.
5. “13 Hours” (Also accepted: “Zero Dark Thirty”)
“Warriors aren’t trained to retire.”
Amazing men and women, whose names are known and unknown, are protecting our freedom and security in our country and abroad. It puts the finite outrage of the day into perspective when you remember that there are thousands willing to put themselves in harm’s way so we can argue about today’s headlines.
6. “A Game of Honor”
“I was a pretty young and irresponsible person until I stepped in front of that unit that was I supposed to lead and the commander looked me in the eye and told me I was in charge.”
Not only are there men and women in the country who fight to defend our freedom at home and abroad, but there are also more young people signing up to do this, even in our flawed time, every day. There are incredible young people in this country who will be great future leaders of our nation. This documentary shows a few of them.
“We used to look up at the sky and wonder at our place in the stars, now we just look down and worry about our place in the dirt.”
Humanity has a purpose, and it is going somewhere. Today’s problems are big, but they are finite in time. Why not take some––or, in this case, a lot––of time to remember that? It is okay to pass over the outrage of the day and focus on a greater goal to preserve what we have for generations yet unborn.