Saturday, September 6, 2008

Atonement

I watched the movie Atonement tonight. It was a great movie with a lot of symbolism (something not seen in a lot of movies these days) and some great cinematography. I'm absolutely in awe of one of the scenes of English troops on the beach of France...it's a straight shot scene over a few minutes that is absolutely cinematically beautiful yet raw and horrifying at the same time. While this movie was good, it left me empty and sad afterward (something this type of movie does to me easily). So, with an urge to write, I went to the beach to jot some thoughts. Here they are:

Sometimes I feel a deep sadness from this world. The atrocities people commit, the coldness, lack of empathy, disregard, and lack of love all sadden me.

Loneliness. Does everyone fight it? Sometimes, the weight of all the negativity in the world becomes too much for me and I just break down and cry. I cry not only for myself, but for everyone. I cry for the countless atrocities that happen every day, for the lack of empathy, and how so many people can cause so much pain and hurt with irresponsible indifference. My mind simply cannot comprehend how others can treat people with stoic cruelty. I also cry for the pain I, myself, have caused others. From this, I ceaselessly strive to atone for my poor choices that cause harm and unhappiness.

Yet, what is atonement? Is it creating or affecting an increase of happiness in the world equal to the sins and harm from past deeds? Is trading negativity quid pro quo truly measurable within the web of impalpable implications and effects our actions have on this world? Or is atonement merely a mechanism to placate internal guilt and shame? Perhaps in order to maintain our morality and sense of ethics we must each live indebted to the poor choices we make. After all, it is often through these poor choices that our true potential to affect good is unveiled.


I left this open as I wasn't sure I had a solid solution to the questions I raised. But even if atonement is a selfish mechanism to remove guilt, wise acts of atonement benefit others, thus the overall effects can't be ignored. Atonement is necessary despite the motivations driving it.

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2 Comments:

At September 9, 2008 at 5:33 AM , Blogger Roh (Davina) said...

As much as I would love to say 'Great minds think alike', I don't wanna in this instance. Mostly because this is just too depressing a topic to be thinking the same thoughts at relatively the same time, just in different places in this world. I have not watched the movie, but for reasons relating to another movie and some historical fact regarding my country, I was wondering too how inexplicably cruel people can be, and even more shocking it is that there does not seem to be much remorse after the incidents...no resolution for atonement, just justification for what they had done.
Like you, I could not come up with a solution to this quandary myself. :(

 
At September 30, 2008 at 10:34 PM , Blogger Jenn said...

Man, that is deep. Deeper than a ravine. Deeper than a ravine inside of a canyon. Deeper than a ravine inside of a canyon on top of a rock.

 

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