SNAP #28 – WHO SPEAKS FOR THE TREES WITH NO TONGUES?
Last Friday, while buying a movie ticket, eager to see The Separation, an Academy Award-winning foreign film about modern day Iran, I noticed the “See The Lorax” button on the lapel of the young ticket seller.
“Is the movie coming out soon?”, I asked.
“I think so,” he mumbled, “sometime in mid-March.”
Then, I popped the right question, “Did you ever read The Lorax?”
Grinning widely, his face lit up. “Oh, yes, it was the first book I ever read,” he said. “I liked it but it was so long. It was really hard.”
I laughed, loving this kid, chuckling about his remembering Dr. Seuss‘ book about a loopy, walrus-mustached oddball, who speaks up for trees, water and air, as lengthy and difficult.
As I gave my ticket to the ticket-taker, a young man in his, I would say, mid-twenties, volunteered that he had “read The Lorax in grade-school.”
“My teacher had me write a book report,” he remembered. “I made a 3-dimensional clay display of the Lorax standing on the stump.”
Just then, the young ticket seller came bounding out of his booth, “I just called the manager and he says The Lorax is opening today.”
“That makes sense,” I said, “because today is Dr. Seuss’ 108th birthday.”
When I finally walked into “The Separation”, the young people selling popcorn as well as those hired to sweep it up, had also congregated in the Lobby to trade Lorax memories. I have no idea who was selling movie tickets!
A feel-good moment, for sure.
So, here is the Snap. Every time we connect with a kid, be they 10, 20, 30, or 40 years of age, it’s a good thing. For them, and, more importantly, for us. Frivolous as it may sound, I believe with ever fiber of my being, that such interactions are an essential element to aging well and happily.
That doesn’t mean, as I’ve often written, we need to look, act, speak, or be like these younger generations. Horrors! We just need to try harder to relate to them. The effort needs to come from us, since Americans-the-Younger are already rushed, busy, self-absorbed, stressed, pressured, under-financed and over-booked. Even casual encounters, like my theatre experience, are happy and amusing moments.
Granted, my friendships with younger people are not as comfy or historically significant as those 25-year treasured relationships where we can finish each others sentences. And, young people DO NOT gather to talk about health issues, Social Security and obituaries. (Although, in time, they will, won’t they?) But, these friendships have a richness of their own. They have value.
If you want to enrich your cultural understanding of a young family’s daily life in Iran, see “The Separation,” a 2012 Oscar winner. If you’d rather watch a film about a shortish and oldish and brownish and mossy character who speaks with a voice that is sharpish and bossy, see The Lorax.
Better yet, don’t miss either.