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Designated movie picker outer

Who in your family is designated to pick out movies? Is it no one else thinks to do it or doesn’t want the job? So it might become your task to make the rest of the family happy. The burden falls on you for your family’s entertainment.

My family is seldom happy with my choice of movies. Their comments are “Mother, don’t you read the back of the jacket?” Or, in front of me as if I wasn’t there, they say, “Remind us never to let Mother pick out a movie again.”

OK, I picked a movie the other day, it was in French. Did I know that when I rented it? No! The actors were talking so fast and the subtitles were flying by so I began reading the subtitles to my husband Al, maybe he wouldn’t notice that it wasn’t in English. But, good try; of course I didn’t pull it off.

Al reminded me of a movie that I coaxed the family to watch a couple of times. They all said “Never again” to “Immortal Beloved,” a story about Ludwig Beethoven. He wrote beautiful love letters to his immortal beloved. I still wonder if his Immortal Beloved was written to God, his brother’s wife or to his music. Al says it doesn’t matter and why do I need to know? But, I would like to know. The more I think about it, I need to watch that movie again, this time alone.

Selecting movies is a tipoff of how we are all so different. You can tell a lot about a person by the movies they watch. When I watch a movie I want to feel deep, abound in their story, jump up and shout victory, and share their heart, hope and courage.

I will play a movie over and over again, a second, third, fourth time or more. Can you imagine how this drives my family crazy? They want to see it, enjoy it and forget it.

Al says, “We’ve seen that, I don’t want to see it again.”

I think, what’s that all about? Don’t you want to learn, get deep, be changed and have a deeper meaning of life?


So I have learned that movies as well as family members are very personal and it’s all about how we accept our differences.

We live in a family unit. How do we all survive? Each of us sees each other differently.

We tell them, “You’re not like the rest of the family; we are not sure what to do with you.” Then one day we change and see that they are exactly what the family needs in order to become a functional unit.

A family is the perfect devised plan to achieve the perfect end by the most perfect means. It is the sum of every part in the unit. Believe it or not, the family will bring everything into focus, each in a proper relation to all, and is able to work toward the goals with flawless precision. It is for the highest good of the greatest number for the longest time. This is family!

Applying this principle to the movie, “Hoosiers,” it is like building a team to win a state championship. It is a true story of a small-town Indiana team that made the state finals in 1954. The coach, Norman Dale is played by Gene Hackman. He comes to the small high school with lots of obstacles in his way.

Coach Dale privately admits in the 10 years he coached he has never met anybody who wanted to win as badly as he. In anger he hit a player and found himself out of a job and his own checkered past has followed him ever since. He teaches a valuable lesson as he tells the players that each person on the team must be broken down in order to be built into a winning team.

Coach Norman Dale’s second chance is with a small-town team with second-guessing fathers and a group of undisciplined athletes. He says to the town people,

“I would hope you would support who we are. Not, who we are not. These six individuals have made a choice to work, a choice to sacrifice, to put themselves on the line twenty-three nights of games for the next four months, to represent you, and this high school. That kind of commitment and effort deserves and demands your respect. This is your team.”

It is the family unit that will take us to the real goal as we support other members for who they are, not who they are not. We learn to understand things we could not learn any other way.

Picking movies is a team effort. I miss a lot of hoops, but the family needs me, I change the dynamics of the team. They look at me as to say, “Really?” I know that secretly they love me, hate the movies I pick; but if it wasn’t for my nonsense, they wouldn’t have any fun.

Final brushstroke: The one who picks the movies becomes part of the entertainment?

Comments from readers

Hello Betty:

Full Circle, Funny but serious story. Reminds me of a line from a Robert Frost poem that goes something like this: “the first of life was made for the last of life.” I think it’s true. The first part of our lives prepares us for the last, which I think in many ways should be the best part.



Dear Betty:

About Full Circle, Remember how you were concerned at the conference in finding your voice? I think you’ve found it.



Hi Betty:

Love the way you “bare” the realness in yours and Al’s lives!  Very encouraging to know we don’t have to be perfect and our differences, when accepted, may be used to complement one another.

Also, encourages me to get up and get going—writing, as I’ve felt called to do for many years.  Stifled, as one of your other readers commented, by the scourge of perfectionism.




Dear Betty:

Full Circle: Love it! Betty, that was an absolutely hilarious ending. God bless you for writing these things!




“The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence.” — Thich Nhat Hanh.