One of my favorite movie is Crash not because it has an interesting story line; but because it made me think about how it is so easy for some of us to talk and interact with total strangers without fear while some of us are too leary or frighten to even say hi. I think we have become so fixated on the belief that the world is a big bad place and that there are bad people living in it who will hurt us that we forget about the fact that there is a ying and a yang to everything.  Have some of us become so skeptical and hardened that we forget about the goodness of others? Have some of us become so enamored with that picture of the “world gone crazy” that we don’t take dare take a chance give others the benefit of the doubt? Do we only interact with people whom we think we can trust or whom we have known forever because we let our sense of self-preservation  dominate our every move, thought and action? Do we purposely let our own insecurity, prejudice and bigotry rule us because it is easier than to confront the truth about ourselves? I think one of the best way to discover who we are as a person is through our interactions with others and their reactions to us. The movie guy from IMDB (the internet movie database) said, “People are born with good hearts, but they grow up and learn prejudices.” I have to say I am one of those naive people who still have faith in the “goodness of humanity” that I allow people into my life and give them the benefit of the doubt until they prove me wrong. 

The movie starts out with these thought provoking lines,”It’s the sense of touch. In any real city, you walk, you know? You brush past people, people bump into you. In L.A., nobody touches you. We’re always behind this metal and glass. I think we miss that touch so much, that we crash into each other, just so we can feel something.” Have we become so busy and self-absorb that we don’t take the time to be civil to each other or total strangers because we think they will expect more from us? I think sometimes we need to be reminded about the pleasure we can get and give in our interaction with others through a simple and heartfelt  ” Hello!How are you?!” and make the other person really believe that we are asking because we really care and that it’s not just an impersonal greeting.  All of us friends, lovers, families and strangers need to “crash” into each other as a reminder that we are all human and significant to each other.  Knowing that someone cares for us, makes life worth living and savoring. I’ll end with words from one of my favorite hero, the honorable Dalai Lama:

“Consider the following. We humans are social beings. We come into the world as the result of others’ actions. We survive here in dependence on others. Whether we like it or not, there is hardly a moment of our lives when we do not benefit from others’ activities. For this reason it is hardly surprising that most of our happiness arises in the context of our relationships with others.When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.”


6 thoughts on “Crash

  1. amphone

    Teacher, somehow I have not seen the movie. I’m sure its a movie worth seeing. I like how Hollywood is getting more and more suffiticated with their deliverly. In a movie, message somehow got through, to some of us anyway. Sometime the messages were ignored and felt to deaf ears…eyes. People only see them as entertainment….action, adventure, romance…I’m glad you are peaceful and giving. Your students should love you.

  2. From reading this, I can’t help but to think that you’re judging the individuals that are very cautious in meeting new people, but you have to understand that environment shapes who we are. What’d you say to a person that’s beaten by a bunch of gangsters in the street, broad day light, I called that crash, and would you expect that person to be the same, that being crashed by those people are a good thing, and still seeing everyone as having a good heart. There’re all kinds of people in this world, some would have innocent face, and you know their face but not their heart or intention. We can all pretend that the world is a big and happy place with nice people, but why would we kid ourselves? There’re too many people that prove me wrong, I know you don’t like negative comment, but I’ve crashed into many people, and vice versa, and this is the most positive that I can come up with, and this might crash with your idea of a perfect world a bit, but the world is a bit tilted at where I am, I’m seeing too much suffering in the human race. The question is, what are we doing about it?

  3. Oh, one more thing, we teach our children not to speak to stranger, why do we do that? This teaching is taught to us at a very young age, there must be a good reason behind it.

  4. Laotian Teacher

    You know I love people to express their own opinions even though it is different from mines. In fact the purpose of my blog is to encourage that expression of the different points of views because I learn from it.

    Even though I always try to see the positive side of everything , but I am not blind to the negative aspects either. Like I said there’s a ying and yang to everything and that includes people’s opinion.

    I never claim we live in a perfect world. In fact, it is my awareness of the world’s imperfection that I am tolerant and understanding of others. I said I was naive , not dumb. That’s a big difference. Yes, I do talk to anybody and I do give them the benefit of the doubt, but I don’t go off and meet strangers and be their best friend.

    My whole argument is that we need to see both sides of every issue. Yes, the world is a bad place but it is also a good place. If we just focus on the dark side of life we will miss out on the beautiful things it has to offer.

    As a mother, I do teach my children to not talk to strangers when I’m not around, but I teach them to also be tolerant and kind to others and yes strangers as well. When a stranger says hi to them and when I’m there they are taught to respond in kind. That doesn’t mean they should go off with them. I am a very protective mother and I am very blunt with my children about being cautious.

    We can all show that we care about others without putting ourselves in danger. We can do this through our words and action. On the other hand we can also show our disdain and contempt in the same way. Once again, there’s two sides to everything.:)

  5. I’ve no doubt that you’re a bright individual, you’ve your credential, if anything it should be me that have nothing to show for because I choose not to.

    When I said my world is a bit tilted, I’m not saying that the world is a bad place, I like to see the world as is, how else would we solve problems if we ignore or brush off the negative that we only choose to see things in a positive light. What is the negative? Is poverty, or uneducated individuals considered negative?

    You’re a teacher, I understand that you’d want everyone to be educated and have a bright future; me on the other hand can accept them for who they are, educated or not, in my eyes they’re all equal, for some, you don’t need education to be successful in life because I’m measuring success by happiness. I don’t choose friends because of their education, just as they don’t mine.

    Obviously, I’m not afraid to talk to stranger, you, and others that I’ve left comments were once strangers to me. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I like to see both the good and the bad, it only makes me human or humble, sometimes being a bit sad is not a bad thing, it only makes you want to give more, e.g., the children in Laos, I feel sad for their situation, and I want to give more, I think I’m not giving enough.

  6. Laotian Teacher

    We both agree that there are good and bad sides to everything and everyone. I don’t choose to be friends with people because of their education or lack of. I have friends and acquaintances from all walks of life because I am accepting of them as they are worts and all. That’s why I’m not judgemental. Tolerance for all is what I preach all the time.

    We do not need a college degree to show compassion and love to others. As a teacher, I have all sorts of students who walks through my door. Some are rich, poor, handicapped, racist, lazy etc… If I was not accepting of all their differences then I would not be a good teacher. That is why I went into teaching, it is to show young people that that they can overcome any obstacles and be successful. In order for me to do that I have to motivate and inspire them to not use any excuses to improve their lot in life and the lives of others. I am so passionate about overcoming barriers, such as race, economic, and religious that I am a sponsor of the International Friendship Club at my school that centers on cultural understanding and community service.

    When it comes to helping others I agree that it seems it’s never enough. At least the important thing is that we try.

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