“Can’t crush a soul here. That’s what life on Earth is for.”
I don’t know if they made this movie specifically because of how 2020 was, or if it was just a coincidence, but in either case, it’s the absolute best film to start the new year with.
A year like 2020 tested us deeply, and hit us at our very core.
It made our souls weary. When you have fear, anxiety, and pain constantly spewed into you on a 24-hour basis, it gets to you. So, this makes us think, what do our souls need, to survive, and thrive in this world?
A soul is one of the most illusive elements ever explored by mankind. It’s been a topic of debate for centuries and has been interpreted in various ways across different civilizations and faiths.
One thing that can be found in common between them all, they’re all looking for ways to appease the soul, to help make it at peace and content.
This movie explores what it takes to stimulate and sustain your soul through life.
It starts off with a simple idea and seemingly obvious, what our souls need, are sparks.
A spark, something that triggers you and gives the passion and drive to pursue life more. It’s what we all dream of having and finding early in life and being able to go after it, to give our lives meaning.
“I’m just afraid that if I died today, my life would have amounted to nothing.”
We need a spark to be able to live our lives with a sense of purpose. Every person has an idea, even if subconsciously about wanting more out of life. We want meaning, a calling to go after.
Without a mission, a purpose to pursue, we feel rudderless and void of joy.
Joy is different from happiness. It’s a more stable and permanent state of satisfaction, as opposed to more momentary and transient happiness.
This is the narrative of so many of these stories is that in order to achieve greatness and have joy, you have to have a specific passion picked out, something you truly love doing, then making it your life’s purpose to excel at that chosen passion.
In this, you’re enjoying what you do on a daily basis, and in doing so, feeling purposeful and having a life with meaning.
What happens if you had a passion for sports, then you got permanently injured? Or you just became too old?
What happens if you had a passion for singing, then your vocal cords were damaged?
What happens if you had a passion for your current job, then a pandemic came and lost you your job?
What happens when you lose the ability to pursue your passion in life, is that it? Do you just automatically lose the will and reason for living?
The answer is an emphatic no.
Why? Because what sustains us in life has to be by definition something that is sustainable.
To survive this world, scratch that, to go above surviving and to thrive in this world, you need to depend on something that can outlast you.
Something that is bigger than you, than can encompass you and give you meaning without fail.
“A spark isn’t a soul’s purpose.”
Having a passion is wonderful blessing, and even more so if you are able to pursue it. But only few people have that blessing, and even fewer can continue to experience it their whole lives.
We’ve equated having a passion with having meaning, as if the two were exclusively synonymous, but that’s not necessarily true at all.
When Joe Gardner goes to his barber, Dez, he assumes that his life’s purpose was to be a barber since his excellence at it propelled people to say he was born to be a barber.
But when opening up about his life, Joe discovers that Dez never wanted to be a barber, and that life derailed his dreams completely. And yet, Dez could not be happier.
We are often the instruments of our own misery. This statement could not be more accurate in describing how we often find ourselves depressed and void of joy, because we’ve fixated ourselves on something that we’re convinced will give us our meaning and purpose in life, when in fact, we were wrong from the beginning.
This is a topic that is somewhat bigger than an article on a blog to say the least.
So when you read this and watch the movie, you can make of these ideas what you will.
What’s important to take away for this is, you don’t that eagle eyed, tunnel vision concept of being completely enthralled with something, to be able to live with joy.
Your soul needs more than just a spark. It needs you to fill it with a bigger idea of where purpose and meaning come from, using simpler and smaller things in your daily life.
“Is all this living really worth dying for?”
Yes, it is.