Us Texans have had a rough week. The once in 100 year winter storm that the state did not prepare for cause it just might not happen. It happened.
I spent too much time on twitter. I started to fall into the blame game trap.
Thankfully I read Austin Kleon’s blog. He writes daily.
He posted Look for the helpers which is a video a quote from Fred Rogers sharing a story his mother taught him.
When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping. Fred’s Mother
Then he posted a video of a wonderful man twitter named Thor Harris teaching a simple way to fix your own pipe if it busted. Here is the Link
Reading this blog post vs doom scrolling twitter changed my outlook and my actions. I walked about my front door today and looked for neighbors I could help with their downed trees.
Looks for the helpers. Be the helper.
Ground Hog Day – Staring Bill Murray and Andie McDowell – is an annual tradition in our family.
Spoilers Coming: But for crying out loud the movie came out in 1993. Just watch it.
Phil Connors (Murray) is stuck living the same day over and over.
He figures out several outlets for his boredom.
He can party and even break the law without consequence.
He can charm women and have sex with ease.
He can steal a bag of money from the local Armored Truck.
So sex, drugs/alcohol, and money. No happiness or fulfillment.
He realizes he is in love with Rita (McDowell).
He tries his charm and information tactics on Rita to win her love. No dice. Each day ends the same with him getting slapped and she walks out.
Seeing no hope for happiness he turns to suicide to end both his life and the trap he is living in.
He commits suicide over and over.
Did I mention this is a comedy?
There is an overtone of “Just kill me now” to try to keep the movie light.
There is no escape of his pain.
The movie transitions to him focused on self development and acts of service to the people in the town.
He reads. He takes piano lessons.
He changes a tire for elderly women. He saves a mans life who was choking. He catches a kid who slips and falls while climbing a tree.
His last act of service is helping a homeless man. But this is one problem he cannot solve. No matter what remedy Murray tries the man dies.
Death is real. Even in this weird time loop he is living in.
He is changed.
The movies turns more lighthearted and in the end he wins the girls and he wakes up and it is tomorrow. He broke the cycle.
What changed him?
He turned to acts of service. He loved his neighbors. He did what he could do right in front of him.
But he helped people knowing that tomorrow it would be undone and he would have to do the same acts again.
He repeated acts of service every day.
The movie does not say exactly how long this period was but we get a glimpse from his piano playing.
This segment of the movie starts with him getting his first lesson and ends with him being the band leader of a jazz band. I would have to say that would be at least a year.
He would not be acknowledged for his efforts. Sure people expressed gratitude but there was not going to be pay back. He was not going to receive a life time achievement award.
In the end repeating acts of service is what changed him.
It made him a person that could love and accept love.
We all feel pain. We feel stuck. We repeat bad patterns.
How will you respond?
One of our family traditions is watching Ground Hog Day with Bill Murray. Exciting I know.
So I asked Vickie what should I say about the movie in a blog post, since we are about to watch it this evening.
What would you Learn?
Here is my list:
- Strength Training – (personal vanity)
- Read all of the Classics
- Learn Spanish
- Learn woodworking
- Fly fish everyday
Let me know.
PS. This post plays well with my earlier post today.
I am still thinking through censorship claims when you are using other people’s platform.
Always remember you are not the customer of social media. You are their product.
When you build your community or business upon another service then you are at their mercy.
In America more speech is generally better.
In these cases I think more speech talking to people you know in person/phone is better.