This week’s movie inspiration is “Schlinder’s List”. This movie is probably one of the most if not the most powerful movies I have ever seen. Powerful in it’s images, in it’s content, and in its message. The message that I take away from this film is that one person CAN make a difference. Often we feel too small and insignificant to think that what we do matters. We feel that there is no way that we can make an impact on the world around us because we are just one person. Nothing could be further from the truth.
We were brought into this life to have purpose. Regardless of what or who you believe in, you cannot argue that there has to be a reason why we are all here. What is that reason? We were meant to do great things and change the world we live in. Some have chosen, as the movie and life depicts, to change the world for the worse, but most have chosen to make the world better. I want to focus on those who chose the latter, to make the world better.
I was a History and Psychology major in college all those many years ago because I wanted to understand how people throughout history could do the things they did. I wanted to understand the lack of humanity in events like the Holocaust. In my studies I learned how such events could happen but what amazed me and continues to amaze me is that in the face of such inhumanity, stories of humanity triumphed. In situations where the world was in a very dark place, rays of hope shone through and eventually won out over evil. Sure World War II was won through weapons, tactics, intelligence and strength, but the war against inhumanity was won one act at a time by one person at a time. Through both small and large acts of humanity, the world did not lose itself in the idea hatred. This is a battle that will always be fought. Unfortunately it isn’t always clear what side of history is the right one to stand on. I believe that is why most people like movies about superheroes, they depict in such an epic fashion, good vs. evil. But how to you become a hero when the lines between good and evil are not so clear.
When it comes to standing up for humanity, standing up for what is right and standing on the right side of history you have to ask yourself what does my soul say? The outside world can be blinding and can be disorienting, but your soul, your gut, your inner compass, whatever you want to call it, will never blind or disorient, it will only lead you on the path of truth. And that truth will never lead you down the slippery path of what is wrong. Following your truth is not easy, look at Oskar Schlinder, on the surface he had nothing to gain by helping the Jews. He was looked upon favorable by the Nazi party, he had money and prestige but something in his soul was saying that what was going on in the world around him was wrong. He kept trying to push down and quiet the voice inside him shouting for him to stand up against what is wrong and it isn’t until he finally listens to that voice that he begins to understand his purpose.
We don’t have to be Oskar Schlinder in order to make a difference and an impact in the world. We just have to listen to what our inner voice is saying and have our actions reflect what we know is true. When you see an injustice speak up. When you see someone in need, reach out your hand. When you see someone in pain, offer your shoulder to lean or cry on? We are all here trying to make our place in the world and figure out what our purpose is. Help yourself in reaching your calling by helping those around you reach theirs. What is your purpose?