Monday 22 November 2010

The Devil in the Choices

I love the movie "The Devil Wears Prada", not because I love chick flicks, or have a thing for Meryl Streep. Not because I am a fashion advocate or long to be up there in the world of fashion. No, I love it because it is a story about making choices, whether we realise we are doing it or not. For those of you that may not have seen it, Andrea (played by Anne Hathaway) is a lovely, kind and generous person. She is offered a job as assistant to a top fashion executive, and in trying to keep her boss happy, she stops having time for her friends, her family and starts spending money on clothes that cost more than the rent of her apartment so she could fit into her new world.  One day she is faced with a choice so large that it practically smacks her in the face and wakes her up. She realised that she was making little choices time and time again that lead her down a path, away from her friends and towards a person who was cold, heartless and soul-less, and she was on track to become that person herself. In putting her job first and herself last, she also chose to place her family and her boyfriend last. Of course Andrea makes the right choice, quits her job and follows her hearts true desire in the end, takes the leap and we all come out of the movie still quite liking her.

So why talk about a 2006 movie today? Well, we are in a time of "crisis" according to the media. Ireland is in severe financial trouble and has asked Europe and the International Monetary Fund for a loan, quite a substantial one at that. The UK is going to help too, and Sweden has offered a hand out as well. There is talk on all the radio stations and on the television about how terrible things are, how our children are going to bear the brunt of the government's stupidity, how we need a general election NOW. It would be easy to get carried away with all of that, just like Andrea got carried away.

There is no need to put ourselves last and the anger, fear and anxiety first. Whether we do or we don’t, we still have to get up in the morning and do whatever it is we have to do in our world, in our day. So we actually do have a choice, whether we realise it or not - do we lose ourselves in the anger, frustration and worry that the media seems to want us to join it in? (yes, Devil like behaviour if there was such a thing) or can we step back, breathe and thank Spirit for what we do have?

We have ourselves, we have a choice. We can sing when we wake up in the morning, instead of cry. (or be silently grateful for the new day, which is my usual choice!) We can become the creative people that we are and make presents for each other with whatever we can afford, and give them with love, rather than lament the material things that we cannot afford to get, or give, this Christmas. We can tell our children that this is the way things are, that they have a choice in it too, or we can tell them they are inheriting a debt that was forced upon them by an incompetent government and their life will be a miserable one as they work to pay it all back.

Andrea finally realises that her boss is “not happy unless everyone around her is panicked, nauseous or suicidal.” Can we make that realisation too about the media? It just feeds their need for doom and gloom. Let’s turn it all around ourselves by choosing positivity!

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