Monday, February 2, 2009

Inspiration in unlikely places

I’ve watched Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium at least five times. It even holds Stephen’s (my husband) attention which is really saying alot. And that he’s rewatched it five times in the past year is monumental. It is so much more than ‘just’ a kid’s movie.
After each time I watch it I feel better for some reason. I love it! And it epitomizes the philosophy that I tried to instill in the kids that I had in school. That we should approach everything with determination, joy, bravery and wonder.
Everything has potential. When we are young we dream big. There’s no wall of impossibility, no boundries. Life is approached with a youthful curiosity. Unfortunately as we grow into adulthood we have a preconceived idea of what is expected of us and we lose the ‘wonder.’
I always tried to show the kids that you don’t have to leave your childhood behind you when you grow up... Sure there is definitely a time and place for certain behaviors, but I showed them it’s imperative that you take some of your childhood with you! I was always the teacher that was chosen to do the turkey dance with feathers stuck to my behind and other tasks of equal dignity. The kids would watch me (and sometimes other teachers!) wide eyed, I’m sure thinking to themselves, I have never seen an adult act that way! There were smiles on their faces as they’d relax, open up and use their imagination joining in the fun. It was like watching a wet, fragile butterfly coming out of it’s coccoon and then becoming a strong, beautiful one. I did my best to show them it was ok to be unique and when you feel good about your own uniqueness, magic happens.
I always said that the best part of being with little kids was getting to see the world for the first time through their eyes. All those new experiences like watching ants make trails & carrying food much bigger than themselves or watching a spider spin a web.
The movie conveys all those kinds of wondrous things. Mr. Magorium looks at the world with childlike wonder yet he’s very insightful on life. And on the subject of death, if we can only remember his approach it certainly is a lovely one. The other characters have their underlying messages as well. The accountant that has the social skills of a 10 year old boy and then the 10 year old boy with such an active imagination and penache’ for different hats (and imagination) that he guides the accountant to be a better human being. And then of course there’s Mahoney that needs to believe in herself the way Mr. Magorium does, so that she can get her inner ‘magic’ back.
Of course I heard very little about this movie. Obviously it wasn’t a big hit with the critics. That was probably because it had so much to offer on a deeper level compared to the shallow no brainer stuff that’s out there. Alot of times the “bigger is better, technologically superior’ means of entertainment misses the big picture. Sometimes it’s better just to be given a block of wood....and if you're not sure what that means you need to watch the movie to find out. Ü

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