by Elle Cyre
Many thoughts on how writing has influenced my life.
|Why do we fall?
According to Alfred in Batman Begins it's "so we learn to pick ourselves up."
That's poetic and powerful--and true, in the case of childhood's first steps and during a man's quest for self-discovery and redemption. But what about in our daily lives when we fall over and over and over again into the same silly and stupid pitfalls?
You'd think we'd learn eventually to avoid them. You'd think we'd change our behaviors and habits so we stop slipping into the bad ones. Sure we make resolutions to change; every New Year's Eve, right? And how far do those go? Mine usually don't even last a week or even a day. I know who I want to be and how I want to act but I either forget about it or I'd rather not put in the effort.
Some people possess great drive and ambition. They succeed in whatever undertaking they tackle because for them it is all or nothing. They'll go to great lengths to accomplish what they want. Then there are people like me who have the same wants but zero drive or ambition. At the end of the day, literally, they don't care enough to put in the extra effort to change. They'd rather enjoy themselves and forget about the consequences--until the next day when they wake up with regrets. Their mornings are filled with good intentions and resolutions but they fade away by midday.
Maybe there aren't many people like me. Maybe I'm a class unto myself, the only occupant of the basement in the loser category. I blame my laid-back personality and absent-mindedness for a lot of my problems but in the end it is just excuses. I'm too easy on myself. What's my point in all this? Well, I've been struggling and fighting against myself for so many years now that I'm sick and tired of it. I want these pesky bad habits to just go away. Why can't I get rid of them? Why can't I make up my mind to be done with them and stop slipping into them day after day?
There has to be a reason. Well, there is, and that's me and my epic weakness, but I mean a purpose to it all. What am I learning by falling time and time again if I can't pick myself up? I guess I know now how utterly hopeless I am. Maybe I'm learning humility; maybe this is teaching me not to judge others by appearances; maybe this is helping me relate to those who face similar battles. After all, what right have I got to give advice to someone or criticize their life choices if I can't even get my own act together?
Ponder this the next time you create a character: how does their faults affect the way they treat others? Often times the upright and righteous characters are depicted as unsympathetic and harsh when it comes to the wayward souls they meet on the way; quick to judge and condemn them. And sometimes the bad ones show unexpected compassion and tenderness. That's one reason I enjoy books and movies so much: they tell us the whole story. They show us when and how the characters changed; they show us reasons for the bad choices and the results of selfishness and greed. They give us the big picture on life that we miss in the day-to-day living and give us vivid examples and illustrations of the lives that go on around us unnoticed or misunderstood.
Life is a strange journey but every single person you meet is human and capable of wanting to change, if not strong enough to accomplish it. That's why we need to help each other on the way.