I saw the movie The Change-Up over the weekend. Basically, it was The Hangover mixed with elements of Freaky Friday and Big. Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds switch bodies only to discover enlightenment via pee, poo and knife wielding babies (oh and several Girls Gone Wild moments). It’s all due to a magical fountain plot device reminiscent of the Zoltar machine from Big –complete with bureaucratic hoops to jump through in order to find the fountain (yes the cement fountain with its very large Greek statue has been moved by the morning after the switch).
Once you put your sense of disbelief on pause, you might laugh. I did. Then again, I did not go expecting The King’s Speech. I only went to laugh.
But being the over thinker that I am I also looked for the deeper meaning, because in every magical switch movie there comes the moment when all that is important to the character is suddenly clear, i.e. that once they see their own life through someone else’s eyes, they are grateful for it.
Before that they only seem to notice those they think have it all, the so-called perfect life.
Before I saw the movie, my husband and I wondered: If we had the choice, who would we want to be?
We sat there and thought for a moment, and then my husband said: “Well you really would have to take into consideration who that person is married to.”
I stared at him. We were not exactly on the same page. I’d been racking my brain trying to think of someone who was not gluten or lactose intolerant and who had one of those cool huts on the water in Fiji, so I could have a cupcake and pizza party in a hammock over a white sandy beach.
My husband did have a good point though, because if I was heading to Fiji, he would be the one I would want to bring. So for me it would probably be easier to wish upon a food allergy fountain, preferably one that also dispenses loads of airline miles to get to Fiji.
In middle school, I thought Mandy Foster (name changed due to embarrassment) had the perfect life, with her long shiny dark hair and the seemingly endless supply of decorative covers on her Pappagallo purse.
Anyway, the life lesson learned in the movie is gratitude, because gratitude is more powerful than a fortune cookie, a Zoltar machine or a magical fountain.
Besides that other person’s life, the one that looks so awesome? It’s not perfect, (just watch a few Twilight Zone episodes–there is always a catch that will make you want your own life back).
But you don’t have to be in a different body to be inspired. Sometimes all it takes is stepping outside your routine, looking around with open eyes and just being thankful (this action is probably why kitten videos go viral).
Anything to remind us that we are right where we belong.
“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” -A. Schweitzer
WHOSE LIFE INSPIRES YOU?