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The Invention of Action

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It’s the start of a new day. You thank God for the nice weather, eat breakfast, get dressed, and head out the door with good, positive thoughts. You remember a line from a self-help book you’ve read recently that reads “It’s not happiness that creates a smile, it’s the smile that creates happiness” Stepping onto a subway, you suddenly feel a whoosh of cold air that seeps in under your jacket. Yes, winter must be around the corner, you think to yourself. But as your eyes search through the crowd for an empty seat, you realize that it’s not just the gust of late-fall wind that’s given you the chills. It’s also the people. The faces of these strangers all around you. Their lovely expressionless faces. There’s nothing wrong about them, of course. But you still can’t help but feel that tension flowing through the train. From the deadly silence that’s only interrupted by the occasional bustling of newspapers here and there, from the indifferent shoving and pushing, and the icy cold stares you’re returned for having made eye contact for whatever reason, you can’t help but feel this tension depressing you, even the most optimistic part of you.

Thinking that you’ve had enough, you desperately look around for something that will catch your attention. You spot a movie poster. For a while you wander through your mind, picking up bits and pieces of the film from different corners of your brain.

The movie is called “The Invention of Lying.” It tells of the time when lying had not yet been discovered. Unlike what most would picture, people in this society live miserable lives. They are honest about everything to each other, even to strangers. They insult each other, breaking each other’s hearts about almost everything all the time. One day the main hero of the movie discovers “saying what isn’t” and sees his lies changing the lives of other people. He goes as far as making up stories about life after death, about the existence of “the man in the clouds”, to give hope to people. And these “people” he tries to help are the very ones who had called him a “fat loser” deserving neither interest nor amiability. He obviously doesn’t want to make their lives better but takes the initiative because he feels the need to. ‘But movies are movies. A hero like that doesn’t exist in real life’. You wrap up your little recollection of the movie on this thought.

You think that someone should step up to make that change. Someone should make that little sacrifice and start making the change. Maybe someone should bend themselves to become everyone’s hero. Maybe that someone is you.





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