My husband and I recently started to re-watch the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I wanted to see an epic story about a group of beings from different cultures (hobbits, elves, dwarves, humans, wizards) working together to defeat a terrible, evil force.
At the end of the first film, The Fellowship of the Ring, the main character, Frodo, decides that he needs to continue alone on the long, difficult journey to Mordor to destroy the ring. As he stands on the shore, poised to set off by himself, he remembers a conversation he had with the wizard, Gandalf:
Frodo: I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened
Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you.
As Frodo starts to row across the water, his best friend, Samwise Gamgee, comes running after him and almost drowns. After Frodo rescues him, Sam reminds Frodo of a promise he made to Gandalf:
Sam: I made a promise, Mr. Frodo. A promise. “Don’t you leave him, Samwise Gamgee.” And I don’t mean to. I don’t mean to.
We haven’t finished the trilogy yet, but if memory serves, Frodo wouldn’t have succeeded on his journey without Sam’s help.
You can watch the clip here:
I also recently re-watched Love Actually, a 2003 romantic comedy that follows 10 love stories. The film opens with images of real people greeting each other in the airport (it was filmed with hidden cameras). In the voiceover, Hugh Grant says:
“Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion is starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that.
Seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there: fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends.
When the planes hit the twin towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge. They were all messages of love.
If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaking feeling that love actually is all around.“
You can watch the opening scene, and the closing scene, which shows additional airport footage, here.
Why am I sharing these clips? Because they reminded me that love, support, friendship, caring and connection have power.
One of the antidotes for our divided world will be to increase people’s experiences of interconnectedness. So, be like Samwise Gamgee. If someone is struggling, walk beside them on their journey. Give them a call and listen. Send a surprise gift. Make a meal. Sit with them so they don’t feel alone. Every act of love and friendship will make a difference.
Photo of a heart in the clouds by me.