Sunday, April 24, 2011

Good Will Hunting

Yesterday, the last thing we did before going to bed was watching the movie Good Will Hunting. Mark and I cuddled on the chair together and while tired, we easily stayed awake with this marvelous piece where 20-year old Southie Will Hunting is a smart-ass genius with anger issues. Through court order he ends up working with a professor at MIT on advanced mathematics and has to do weekly therapist sessions. Will Hunting is played by Matt Damon, his best friend Chuckie is played by Ben Afflick and the therapist is Stellan SkarsgÄrd.

My favorite scene in the movie came when Will is talking to his best friend at the end of a hard workday in construction about how in twenty years they both will have families and all will be living in South Boston together. Chuckie responds that it would be an insult to his friends for Will to waste his potential that way, and that it’s his wish that Will wills leave some day to pursue something greater. “I pick you up every day and bring you coffee”, he says. “The 10 seconds while walking from my car to your house are the best. You know why? Because I hope you might be gone, left this place. That you will have decided to do something better with your life.”

In my opinion Chuckie is a great friend. One that loves and supports his friend, and wants him to grow and succeed in the world, independent of what that would mean for their relationship. So often we want people to behave a certain way. Have them do things that we are comfortable with, or things we understand.

This movie also shows that the reasons we want people to be a certain way is motivated by personal reasons, nothing to do with the friend. For example: the mathematician wants the boy to deliver to his full potential. The boy can do all these things that he is not able to. He cannot stand seeing the boy wasting the skills that he has tried to reach for all his live. The same counts for Chuckie. He believes he doesn't have the needed skills to change his life drastically and expects himself to still work in construction and live in the same neighborhood. But he believes that Will can do better and so tells him to do something with his live instead of holding on to what he has here.

Exercise:
- Write down five names of people in your life.
- Write down what you want for them. For example: you want your child to grow up happy.
- Research deeper what these statements mean. Continue of last example: my child will live independently and have a good job. Independently means being able to make his own money and do not needing help. A good job is one that helps him provide stability in finance and healthcare. Continue specifying your notes as far as possible.
- Look at what you have written down. Realize that all these wishes and specific wants for the person are made by you. Which of your wants have you shared with that person as something that is good for them, or something that they should do? Which of your wants have you shared with that person as something that you want for them? Can you hear the difference in approach?
- What do you think when people are not behaving the way you want them to behave? How do you feel when your wants for them seem not to line up with reality? Why?

Be loving without smothering; be encouraging without pushing; “want” for your friend without making it “have too’s”

I wish you a great easter Sunday!

3 comments:

  1. I really like that:

    "Be loving without smothering; be encouraging without pushing".

    Since I have started to explore the tantra world I have seen myself become less smoothering. At times I can be a bit confronting. - like Chuckie: "Don't waste your life". I want to be more confronting with my friends - but as lovingly as Chuckie.

    Thanks for reminding.

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  2. Joy, I personally love your directness. That combined with "not holding on to" is in my opinion a very attractive way to be...

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  3. Ohh Iris, I LOVE YOU. Sending a big hug from my part of the world.

    Joy

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