Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Day I Watched I Am Sam And Talk About Love & Loving

Last night, Channel 5 aired "I Am Sam", the 2001 bawl-fest starring Sean Penn as Sam, a mentally handicapped father who is fighting for the custody of his seven-year-old daughter, Lucy (played by Dakota Fanning). Michelle Pfeiffer also stars as Rita, the acerbic lawyer who grows a heart and learns compassion while fighting for his case.

The most important theme of the movie is selfless love. A man with the intellect less than a seven-year-old is able to love someone so wholeheartedly, just like how children are able to love without question or hesitation. The question then, is, are we really better off than somebody like that? Is our capacity to love lesser because we have the intellect of a normal person?

In the show, Sam is always very conscious about and fascinated by colours and visuals of the things around him. He is incredibly empathetic, and he has no qualms about showing affection. Sometimes, we get so caught up with our lives, and while doing our own things, and being weighed down with our materialistic wants, we forget to slow down and to look at the world around us and admire it's beauty, and to be truly thankful for what we have. I know that, because I myself behave in such a manner sometimes.

Loving is to cherish the ones you hold dear, be it your family or your friends, and it is also about showing affection and appreciation to them. Children can love unconditionally and unwaveringly, so why can't we, as grown ups, love the same way as well? One reason could be that our society today does not encourage empathy. On the contrary, we are taught to fight for our endless wants since day one, and unknowingly, we become people who are constantly consumed with negativity, feeling more hatred and dislike than satisfaction and appreciation.

Love is not limited by intellect afterall. So, it is not impossible for us to love like children do. Love does not demand alot from us; We just need a heart. Having empathy would be a plus.

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