Challenges

Roger Federer US Open Champion 2008 with TrophyThe US Open 2008 has come to a close, and I am so excited to see Roger Federer come out on top. Not only is he a brilliant player with excellent footwork going into his shots, but he’s also a Goodwill Ambassador, involved in many charities, and quite entertaining as well. Federer have been ranked #1 going into the US Open if he had not battled a case of mononucleosis this year which affected his play. Despite that, he still went to many tournaments and the Olympics in Beijing and put forth his best effort, which paid off in the end with his 5th US Open Championship.

While watching the match last night, Jason made a great comment. In the second set, one of the line judges missed the fact that one of Federer’s shots had went out of bounds, and although Murray did not challenge, he was visibly frustrated about the call not being made, considering he would have won that game. One of the commentators then went on and on about how the challenge system was not working the way it should, when effectively, without the computer-generated review, no one would have known and the situation would have turned out the same. At this, Jason said that in baseball, there are times that balls should be strikes, or strikes should be balls. It is out of the player’s control when things like that happen. But what really counts is how they come out of it – how they shake it off and play after the fact.

That can be applied to all areas of life. Things are going to happen that do not fit according to plan, are not fair and are out of our control. We can come to a complete stop, sulk, get angry, whine and so on. It takes a lot of work to tell ourselves to shake those kinds of things off. But we can keep going, doing the best we can with the circumstances dealt to us. We can practice this in simple ways, such as saying we will have a good day regardless of the fact that we got up on the wrong side of the bed that morning. We can not let one thing going wrong overshadow the rest of things that have the greatest potential of going right.

More Films Provoking Profound Questions

In continuation of What Films Provoke Profound Questions, I am adding the following movies:

Invasion
This quote from the movie really sums it up: “All I am saying is that civilization crumbles whenever we need it most. In the right situation, we are all capable of the most terrible crimes. To imagine a world where this was not so, where every crisis did not result in new atrocities, where every newspaper is not full of war and violence. Well, this is to imagine a world where human beings cease to be human.”

Would it be better to live in a world of peace and harmony, but in exchange lose our basic human feelings, urges, desires, instincts and so on?

Final Destination
If you were offered the chance to know when and how you would die, and the opportunity to change fate, would you take it? Even if knowing that your decision would alter other lives further down the road?

Also, I had several reader submissions for this topic from my previous post, including:

from Patrick Sweeny of Black Leaf Media

American History X
“Can criminals be re-habilitated? When do you cross the line from being a xenophobe into being a racist?”

A Clockwork Orange
“Can someone truly be rehabilitated? Come to think of it, any Stanley Kubrick movie makes you think.”

from Jen of Semantically Driven

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
I agree with Jen on this pick. Would I want to give someone access into my mind to erase memories I no longer wanted to have? I can understand that some memories are so heinous that we would want to completely forget them, but could some of those memories also be beneficial in either teaching ourselves lessons in things we do not want to become or do, or helpful to someone else when shared?

from Rosella of Ma che ti sei mangiato

The Kite Runner
“From the moral perspective, I would defend my friend, but from the personal perspective (what would I do in the same situation?) I have some doubts on my courages. Just for my sister I know I would for sure risk to defend her, for other people?”

The Truman Show
“How many questions it raise about true human relationships?”

from Kw

Afterlife
“The concept being that after you die, you go to this form of purgatory and look back over your life, choosing the one moment from your life which you will spend your afterlife in. So you must pick the one moment when you were most happy, content, proud.”

I will continue to add to this list, with my own comments and those from readers. Although there are times when movies are great just for entertainment, I believe that it is an added bonus when they also open your mind to deeper thoughts.

What Films Provoke Profound Questions?

Previously, I hit on the topic, using the Dark Knight, of movies that challenge your morals and values. The ones that make you question why you relate to or despise decisions that a character made based on your own beliefs, and how you would respond in the same scenarios. Then this weekend, I thought of some more movies that also have the same effect.

Thought Provoking Films

The Brave One
What is so wrong with a person who takes out the criminal element? If this person knows the criminal is guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt, and knows that the likelihood of the criminal to harm others long before the legal system can catch up with them is high, how is society harmed by a good vigilante?

V for Vendetta
How easy would it be for the government to be buying the media into saying just what they want them to? Does it take a seemingly mad person and violence to open society’s eyes and spur political revolution?

The Island
Although not created the “natural” way, who would be able to determine if a clone had a soul, and if it deserved rights? Would your conscious be clear knowing that another existence of yourself was made to be used and destroyed for your benefit alone?

A.I. – Artificial Intelligence
Is it possible that machinery could be created to mimic all the things (thoughts, emotions) that make us human? Could it be programmed to not only mimic, but actually feel these things? Is it possible to love something without a heartbeat or soul?

Closer
How much honesty is too much? Is there such a thing as too much honesty? Why do we ask questions that we know we really do not want the answers to, but feel driven to ask anyway?

Boleyn Girl
Who was the better woman? The one that gave herself to someone who she knew could never fully be his because she loved him, or the one that used herself as a bargaining chip to get what she wanted? In societies with a separation of church and state, why does society get bent out of shape when a politician does something morally offensive in their personal relationships? Could their choice in spouse/lover affect their ability to do their job?

Your Favorite Films

So how about you? What movies have you watched that have really made you leave the theater (or your couch) scratching your head and pondering the deep why and what if types of questions? Or what other questions (and maybe answers) did you come up with from watching the movies I listed above? Please let me know in the comments…

Group Writing Project

Also, I have submitted this post in the Group Writing Project over at ProBlogger.net. If this title attracted your attention, or you have an awesome post title on your blog, drop by and submit it.

A continuation of this topic can be found in More Films Provoking Profound Questions.

Say It, Right Now

Do you ever have times when you think about calling someone just to say hello? Maybe you have an online friend that you want to write a message. But something comes up, or too little time becomes a factor, and you never say what you want to them.

Now is the time to change that. I know it has been said many, many times before in one form or the other, but you never know how long you will really have to tell someone what you want to tell them.

My mind was wandering a bit today, and I found myself thinking about something that happened last year. I was Myspace buddies with an old friend from high school. She had recently updated her photos, and I was taking a quick peek through them. I wanted to post some comments about what a lovely family she had, how cute her daughter looked holding their pet kitty, how pretty she looked in her wedding photo, and so on. But I was at work, and I was low on time. So I figured I would just come back later and add those comments.

As most “to do” items go, one thing led to another, and it slipped my mind that I wanted to re-visit her profile and comment. About two days later, I received an email from someone else in our graduating class – that my friend had committed suicide.

So do I think the little comments I wanted to make on her profile but never got around to would have made a significant difference? It is one of those “what if” questions that could drive a person mad if they let it. I would like to think that, maybe if I had, if nothing else she would have had a little reminder that there were many more people who cared.

No matter how young, happy, successful, hopeful, or loved a person seems to be, you cannot always guarantee that they will always be around, whether it is by accident or choice. Take that moment, right now, whether by phone, text, e-mail, comment, twitter, plurk or poke. Even if it makes you late for a meeting or for dinner or whatever. One or two minutes spent here and there is not more regrettable more a lifetime of wishing you had just said what you wanted to. No matter how silly or simple or complicated you may think it is. You just never know.

Taken but Looking, and Breaking the Trust Factor

I was recently reading a friend’s blog where he was posting online conversation between himself and a female friend. Long story short, she was seeing someone she met on an online dating service, and she thought things were going really well, but then found out he had put his profile back up on the site. Needless to say, she was confused and discouraged. The subject hit a nerve with me, as I have been in a committed relationship where this happened.

There is no harm in online, chit chat flirting, right? I am pretty sure that is what some people think when they are in committed relationships and decide to just have a little online fun. Or maybe it is to satisfy the “I am still hot because other people are interested in me” ego boost.

The problem is that no matter how much your partner trusts you, it will undermine that trust if they find out you are doing this. It is silly to think that if you met on an online dating service, that your partner will not notice your profile going back out on the market. During my short online dating stint, that was how I determined if someone I was seeing was serious or not, since you can take down your profile but still look. Even if that is not how you met, karma will get you in the end. Maybe an online friend recognizes your picture or description and tips off your partner. Maybe you left your login ID saved in the browser (which is pretty daft, but that is how I found out it was going on in my last relationship). Anything can happen, and usually does with these sorts of things.

So no matter how confident someone is, in themselves and the relationship, finding out that you are still perusing the singles scene will make them question what it is that is lacking that makes you need to find something elsewhere. It will be hurtful. It is also going to put into their mind that little nagging voice that says there is the possibility that more than just chatting is the end goal. Or for the vengeful type, it will make them think that if you can do it, so can they. Then you have a two wrongs do not make a right situation going on.

So basically, for what you may think is harmless ego boost and flirting could be detrimental to a solid relationship in the long run. Because once trust is broken, it is painfully difficult to build again. The best question to ask yourself is, no matter what the motive, is it worth losing what you have?