I just finished watching the movie Tsotsi, a story of redemption. It is, perhaps, one of the most powerful movies I have ever seen. It tells the story of a young man in what I believe to be the shanty towns of South Africa, who was raised knowing only violence and neglect, and who developed the traits of compassion and decency. At the end of the movie, he did the right thing.
This made me think of two books I recently read, “The Kite Runner” and “A Fine Balance”, the first about Afghanistan and the second about India. They each describe the brutality of regions where people are inflicted with circumstances that they cannot control and who do their best to live their lives as best as possible. I suppose they are stories of adaptability, the human quality to accept even the most deplorable conditions and continue living.
While all three of these stories brought fear into my heart of the world I cannot control, this last movie made me cry with the understanding that everyone has the capacity to change. So, when I think about the day-to-day lives that people in my sphere live, I am reminded that what we consider challenging is a mere hiccup compared to other people, perhaps the majority, in the world. By no means do I diminish anyone’s pain or problems, but just want to keep perspective.