If you haven’t seen The Artist, the Academy Award winner for Best Picture of last year, then you really need to see more movies. It was best picture and everyone (just about) loved it. So I don’t feel bad referring to the end of the movie assuming 95% have seen it and the other 5% aren’t much of a mover goer. But you can click “Continue Reading” below if you really don’t want to know the end of the film.
As his career and finances drain away in the wake of sound films, silent film star George grows depressed and irrational. When he ends up injured after a fire, a series of generous actions are revealed to him. At first they are all anonymous: George is recovering in a beautiful home. All his possessions that were sold at auction are stored in a downstairs room of the house. His faithful butler, whom he let go well after his money ran out, is now working for for this same mysterious benefactor. These acts of giving have been done without the recipient, George, knowing who is helping – and without even knowing they are taking place. On Maimonides famous ladder of giving it would be number 6 – or right near the top.
Soon it is revealed the giver is the world-famous actress Peppy, a dancer that George helped get her break in show business. After a brief near suicide attempt by George, Peppy’s generosity continues as she gives him much needed strength and support and then helps him get a job in new Hollywood.
The acts of kindness displayed in The Artist are part of the charm and sweetness of this film. We are suckers for those stories because they hit to a core piece of our soul. Too much of the world doesn’t really care about the well-being of others. Many more care, but are “too busy” or can’t be bothered with doing something about another person’s life. Such giving can be done suddenly, to strangers, and can be simple and powerful. I have always found random acts of kindness to be a moving concept.
Or such giving can be planned, thoughtful, and for those around us. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to solve every problem. That phone call or dinner or kind note or visit can make more of a difference in someone’s life than you know. So make commitment to give to someone else. And let the power of that act inspire you to the next and the next. That’s the best way to enter a new year.
#BlogElul is the brainchild of @imabima who blogs at imabima.blogspot.com. For the 30 days of Elul, the spiritual preparation before the Jewish High Holy Days, many Jews will be reflecting on the themes of the season. My posts will all be through the lens of movies. You can see all the themes in the graphic. Follow all the other excellent postings through Twitter at #BlogElul along with related items #Elulgram and #PopCultureElul.