Lost returned on Thursday night. We are now in our 4th season, and I love the show more and more every time I watch it. It is such an intelligent show that keeps you wondering especially because it drops clues that I hardly pick up until much after the fact, but that is reason #815 why I love the show. But today we will focus on reason #4,815,162,342 why I love Lost.
So often in TV shows or movies, we are dropped in a particular place and a particular time and we are just to pick up the story and the characters from that moment forward.We will get the occasional clue of what happened in the past, but mostly we deal with life in the present and every action of a person can be seen in response to something done earlier that episode or in a previous episode. While it is entertaining, it is not how life works, or for that matter Lost. Lost uses “flashbacks” to tell their story. You get to see the major formative events in a persons life that causes a person to act in a certain way. I think it helps provide you with a better sense of the characters and helps you to be more compassionate towards them.
Let’s take Sawyer for an example. There is no doubting he is a jerk and a crook. But in one episode we learned that when Sawyer was a kid his father killed his mother and then killed himself because a con man wrecked their marriage and took all their money. I can’t imagine the damage that is done to a child when something like that happens. For Sawyer, it gave him a huge chip on his shoulder that kept getting bigger and bigger, which eventually drived him to con and to kill. But for him it was all for one thing: survival. When we understand the great trauma he went through as a kid, we still see his hurtful actions, but now we notice the redeemable words and actions and actually root for him.
I wish we had this capability in real life. Can you imagine how different life would be? A woman cuts you off on the highway and suddenly you are taken to her kitchen this morning as she is trying to get 3 young kids ready for school, while she get ready herself , and then suddenly gets a phone call that her mom was just taken to the hospital. I think our road rage would go away. Or what about the 10 year-old kid who gets on your last nerve because he is always talking back and thinks that everybody is out to get him and suddenly you are on his living room where his parents are arguing, again. Then you get taken to his bedroom where he has been locked in because his parents left him at the home alone, again. Suddenly you don’t see a rotten kid, you see a broken kid.
We all have our own stories and just like Lost we run into the people in the middle of their story. Some are more tragic then others. Some stories we will find out about, and some unfortunately we never pay attention to their story. Instead of finding out about their life-story, we categorize them by our brief middle-of-the-story interactions with them, and instead of calling them friend, we call them flighty. Instead of calling them neighbor, we call them strange. Instead of calling them beloved, we call them jerk. But really maybe that’s what they ought to call me.