Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Not a Sermon

I know. Bruce Almighty was a comedy. Got it.

But there are some fantastic lessons in that movie, which is why it's one of my all-time favorites. One of the best scenes is a conversation between Bruce (Jim Carrey) and God (Morgan Freeman), shortly after Bruce parts a bowl of soup a la the Red Sea and declares that a miracle. God says:

Parting your soup is not a miracle, Bruce. It's a magic trick. A single mom who's working two jobs and still finds time to take her son to soccer practice, that's a miracle. A teenager who says "no" to drugs and "yes" to an education, that's a miracle. People want me to do everything for them. What they don't realize is *they* have the power. You want to see a miracle, son? Be the miracle.

That speaks to me. On a number of levels.

First, on a personal theology level, I do think miracles happen when people work to make them happen. None of this hocus-pocus nonsense--no burning bushes, no poofs of smoke, no Lazarus from the dead. Miracles are a mom working to bring her autistic kid back from the place he's vanished to...and there's a glimmer one day. A miracle is when a kid from the city gets help with his schoolwork...and goes on to college instead of to the corner to deal pills and powders. Miracles happen when people make them happen.

So that's the God part.

The other part is more political. You can stop rolling your eyes--this is good stuff! A lot of people, people I know and love, have this idea in their head that they're owed. They deserve a house. They should have designer clothes or new cars or new video games. They just should be able to stay home just because they should. 

It goes beyond. People are owed unemployment. The government needs to roll out this program or that benefit because that's its job.

Here's the deal, gang. Life doesn't owe you squat. Being born does not give you the right to claim stuff. You want a house? The luxury car? The Tommy jeans?

Work for them. 

You want more money in the bank?

Stop spending it.

You want television after the digital roll-out? Go buy the damn converter box. Get off your duff and do it. For yourself.

The bailouts...oh my word, the bailouts. And the stories coming from them--corporate retreats at five-diamond resorts, private jets. Because they're owed. They deserve it.

Pardon my French, but bullshit. If you can afford all that stuff and you've worked to earn it, then by all means. Enjoy. Caviar for breakfast, Jeeves.

But nobody should hand you that stuff. Not your mom, not the government, and not me via my taxes. Get up and get out and make it happen. Capitalism at its finest.

Be the miracle. Be your own miracle. You won't believe what you can do.


MadWoman said...

Here here!! I'll second that and give it a giant HOORAH!

I'm so tired of listening to people whine about what they're not being given. Or how strapped for cash they are because they've maxed out all their credit cards.

My husband and I, with our two kids, spent the first 4 years of our marriage surviving on $16,000 a year. No credit cards.

We still don't have credit cards, we have minimal debt (car and student loans) and we don't collect government top ups. We work hard for what we need....harder for what we want. So it drives me crazy when I hear "I don't wanna work THAT job. I want a 'real' job. So I'm going to collect welfare in the meantime". Get off your butt and work.

Oi vey. I could go on (clearly) but I think you've said it all very well.

michelle said...

Clap, Clap, Clap! Long-time lurker just stopping by to say you hit this right on the money.