I overlooked an important detail regarding one of our recent assignments — to pick from a list of films, watch them with an eye toward the principles learned in the MKE, and write about them in my blog. Somehow, I missed the blogging part.
Lucky you — there will be two blogs from me this week!
Anyway, I watched two movies last weekend. Both were illustrations of human will and the refusal to conform to the expectations of others and abandon dreams — even in the face of difficult if not overwhelming odds.
My favorite was October Sky. It reminded me of my childhood and the influence newsreels about jet pilots and astronauts had on me. I wanted to fly and thought sure I would. Homer lived his dream, I did not.
Homer was a high school kid in a coal town. His prospects of getting away from that life were slim to none. Without the athletic prowess of his brother or academic excellence worthy of a scholarship, the odds were that he would stay in the company town, live in a company house, and one way or another, die from the company mine.
Unless the mine played out first, then there would be nothing.
But the Russians launched Sputnik. The spark that ignited the rocket taking Sputnik into orbit ignited Homer’s inspiration — his Definite Major Purpose. The story unfolds in classic fashion, but it’s not a fairytale.
Homer assembled a merry band of rocketeers — a Mastermind Alliance of his two pals and the school nerd. With little support from anyone other than their science teacher, the dream was to win the National Science Fair and get scholarships — a Plan Of Action. They overcame a staggering learning curve and built rockets that rather than explode, would fly. Problems they couldn’t solve on their own they managed to find the needed expertise for — other Masterminds. They stood firm against antagonism and threats from family and authorities. Whatever it took, they would find a way. A Positive Mental Attitude.
Then, a dark hour appears. The boys are accused of starting a fire with an errant rocket and Homer’s dad gets injured in a mining accident. Play with rockets, go to jail. Who will take care of the family? Homer must choose.
The pressure to conform is too great and Homer quits school and goes to work in the mine and for the first time in his life receives approval from his father.
Alas, Homer’s desire is too great. The boys set out to prove their rocket was not the cause of the fire. Homer stands firm against his father and refuses to return to the mine. The die is cast.
In the end, the boys win the National Science fair, all four are awarded scholarships and Homer goes on to work with NASA.
As surely as the Law of Gravity pulls us earthward, Persistence combined with a Definite Major Purpose, Positive Mental Attitude, Plan Of Action, and Mastermind Alliance allows us to soar.