This short film is a “must-see”. It is part of Liberty Mutual’s “Responsibility Project”. Watch the film all the way through the very end.
Call me a sap, but this film brought tears to my eyes. Real, wet, tears.
Which left me wondering, the film is certainly nice, but why did it elicit such a strong reaction?
I think two parts of the film in particular were resonsible for my emotional response.
1 – The “rules are rules” aspect of sports is something we take for granted as necessary elements for a game. On the other hand, we resist rules in our real lives. We don’t want to be tied down by restrictions, we defy strict structure in our lives and we are reluctant to enter long term relationships (whether in love or business) because we know the “rules” of relationships are not always comfortable.
I like rules. I like structure. I like order. I think that is why I was drawn to the Rabbinate and why I am drawn to Law. I actually like Law School. I enjoy the pursuit of appreciating and understand the complex system that we live in. In the film, the umpire is portrayed almost like a villain. But to me, he is the arbiter of a legal issue and I find comfort in knowing that there are rules. To me, he is the good guy, he is enforcing the rules that make the game meaningful. With no rules in games, there is no meaning. This resonated with me.
2 – And this is the real reason I was so moved by the film. The world I want to live in exists in this story. A world of Unity. The world I dream of where differences (like opposing teams in an important game), are not as important as similarities (humans, softball players, women, athletes, americans, etc etc etc). To them, the overall goals of living and loving each other trumped the differences they had as opponents. This film shows a world that I want to believe can exist.
A large number of my recent posts have touched on this very issue. I have been writing about Unity and Tolerance for a little while now. Working as the Rabbi of the Pacific Jewish Center, especially at the Shul on the Beach has only reinforced this strong yearning within me. I meet so many different people. I am convinced that the more we understand about one another, the more we can develop mutual respect and appreciation for one another. Certainly, looking to our similarities primarily and our differences secondarily is a good step in the right direction.
Just a few weeks ago I wrote about the photo of NBA players from Israel and Iran looking like the best of friends. I also wrote about learning from ants that we should help each other when we are in need. A while ago I wrote about using concepts of teamwork in our daily lives. I have spoke from the pulpit about Unity on Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and more recently, Chanukah.
This film just brought all the passion I have for unity and tolerance into such clear terms. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Let me know what you think in the comments.
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Hat-tip: My father.