December 20, 2011

The Help: Strength, Courage and an Outpour of Empowerment

I am always honored when I hear good feedback when I talk to friends who read my blog. Ivy Fajardo commented saying that my blog embodies the positive outlook and happiness I feel with my life. Thank you and I hope I may always bring that sense of good vibes to people.

I recently was able to watch "The Help". It is a film adaptation of a novel that deals with the stories of African-American maids during the early 1960's. At that time, racism was prevalent and having voice and courage was challenged. 

The movie was unique in a way as a white woman, played by Emma Stone, listened to the views, thoughts and experiences of African American maids on their white employers. The maids were repressed - looked down on only to serve as the help of those with white skin.

The maids found salvation to air out their concerns and depression when the character of Emma Stone approached them about writing a book. This book would expose the true feelings, life and experiences of these help.

One of the messages I clearly understood was not just about racial discrimination but the oppression of people in general. Regardless of race, there will always be big obstacles that everyone should overcome.

Before the maids allowed their stories to be told, they first had to reach a point where they could not take the cruelty or injustice awarded to them. I asked myself, "Do we need to let it reach an extreme frustration before we go about finding a solution to our problems?"

What I was also reminded of is that we sometimes forget to muster the strength and courage to face whatever hindrance we have and easily give-up. We need to be heroes in our own right, leading our path to success and victory. Our mindset should always be ahead of things, knowing how to deal with daily problems and turning it into positive opportunities to learn and grow.

For the past weeks I've encountered a lot of personal setbacks that honestly stretched my patience and determination. Hardships we all go through these days are becoming more difficult, urging people to either stop and be content, or rise above and win. It was easy for me to give-up, yet I still want to try to surpass my personal expectations and strive to commit myself to the nearest perfection I can mold myself to become.

In a way, the characters in the movie showed a state of my life that needed to be revisited. The maids were already used to their situation and only had the guts to fight back when they were given a chance. Sometimes, we all just need a knock on the head to remind us that we should take charge of things. I recounted and reassured myself that I will always maintain the strength and courage that would help me through whatever I need to survive from.

One of the most memorable moments in the film was the scene when one of the maid imparted a sense of empowerment to the little girl she takes care of. It goes, "You is kind... You is smart... You is important..." I guess we all need strong words of encouragement to help us recall who we are and how great we can be.

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