A couple of things going on tonight that might, or might not, be interesting. For starters, I’ve just watched the best movie. I know, I know! I liked “The Lady in the Van”, but “Spotlight” is the best movie according to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences! This movie won several Oscars. The story is flawless, acted with stunning precision.
I must explain something. I am a product of the villainous institution this film is about, but never fell prey personally to its heinousness. Many friends did, however. In fact, my town is listed at the end of the film. It was my parish, my very workplace which sheltered a major perpetrator. I knew nothing of it. But I do not want to rail about the sins of ‘man’. They are too great.
Did I ever mention I was, for a short time, a journalist? Because I was the kid of a ‘big fish in a small pond’ dad, I was able to land a job with the local newspaper. Unskilled but enthusiastic, I dove into reporting imagining myself the next Katharine Graham. Like most things I’ve had a chance to do, I did not stick with it, but loved it, nevertheless. Watching “Spotlight” reminded me of that old love and also that true talent, the exceptional kind, is courageous. It knows that egos are best left at the door, and that good people are everywhere.
Now, even good people screw up. When they do and once they realize it, if they do not come forward they are often relieved when caught. This film highlights that as well as the failure of an institution. It shows how complacency establishes a breeding ground for continued suffering and wrong-doing. Through determination and the intelligent chasing of facts, however, when allegations were followed up, victims were helped. Someone was listening, finally. The institution? It remains because people want it. It’s that simple. What point am I trying to make?
We give institutions power over us. I am not suggesting that people who have authority do not abuse it – we all know some do – but we are not all victims, either.
Today, however, the insanity of violence and irrationality bloodied us all again. I can do nothing except deepen a consciousness of peace.
Wishing tonight that we do some imagining the way John Lennon did. “Imagine all the people living life in peace. I know you may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one.” The message lives on if we keep imagining. Imagine all the people…