watching, reading, and writing stories

Hidden Figures and Coming Together

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This movie was excellent and I’m so excited about sharing it with you. Hidden Figures follows the story of three African American women in the 1960s who worked at NASA with the Space Program. Watching it reminded me a bit of another one of my favorite movies: Remember the Titans. Whenever there is a movie that deals with the social and racial tension of the Civil Rights Movement, I always love seeing how people change and come together as they realize that their differences aren’t so important and that when they work together, amazing things can happen.

In Remember the Titans it was a football team learning to come together and integrate black and white players and coaches into one unstoppable team. And in Hidden Figures it’s about black and white men and women coming together to do the impossible: send a man into space and bring him home safely. There are fears, insecurities, prejudices and injustices that must be overcome, dealt with and moved past in order for this to happen. But in the end they do and it’s so exciting to see.

This film does a great job of showing the hard reality of the 1960s, especially for blacks, while also giving us hope of change and a better future. And just as these women had to deal with unfair treatment and pay, but chose to keep going and find new ways to succeed and prove their worth, we too live in a time when it’s easy to mistrust others, or make assumptions or treat others differently. It may not even be because of skin color, it could be social status, or political leaning, or religious differences. But it doesn’t have to stay that way.

When we stop focusing on what’s different, and instead see that the person next to us is just that, a person; one who loves, hurts, feels, cares just as we do and deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, that’s when things change, when unity is possible and progress is made.

The Titans went on to win a championship, the NASA workers went on to put a man on the moon. And we can continue the work and do more than anyone thought possible.

However, I want to add one thread of caution. It’s easy to think we can accomplish all these great things if we just try hard enough. But ultimately, each of us is still selfish, a sinner, and a person that makes mistakes. We won’t get this perfect and without God’s help we won’t make any progress at all. So as this year continues, I pray that our nation will learn to love, not hate, to value others and not fear them, and to care for others and not just ourselves. In essence, I pray that we follow Jesus’s example and do the hard work: dying to self and living for others. And with His help, we will.

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