“The Human Experience” is a movie, a documentary about two brothers in search of the true meaning of the human experience. I am not sure where to begin describing the impact this documentary had on me and on others who have seen it. It reveals information I would like to believe we all somehow know and understand at some subconscious level.
The most important message infused in the stories (experiences) presented in the movie is that life is worth living. It is worth living because it is. As one of the experts, a doctor, summarized it, even people in the worst of situations, with horrible medical problems want to be treated, want to be alive and remain so because one or five more days in this world is a gift to be enjoyed. No one knows what happens when we are gone so it is wiser to enjoy this fleeting gift of life, right now, while we have it. The above could not be more evident in the experience that led the two brothers to a place in Peru inhabited by children severely abused and with horrendous physical deformities. The kids cry during physical therapy because it hurts. However, they don’t mind enduring the pain; they “have the joy of living” and all they care about is that they get to go home at the end of the day and play with their friends.
Another important lesson of the documentary is that to experience something out of one’s comfort zone is to learn. Most people understand consciously that there are many suffering out there and living in abhorring conditions. Unless they get to walk in the sufferers’ shoes, however, they do not really know what it is to be that person. Sometimes, it is urgent to step out of one’s comfortable life and embark on a foreign and scary adventure to truly understand what it means to be human, what it means to both suffer and rejoice. After all, it is quite obvious that the children in Peru and the lepers in Ghana, despite their physical challenges, find more meaning in life and enjoy it more than many Westerns do, Westerners who have everything and yet lack so much.
The conclusion is, no matter what happens in life, life is still good. All people need to do is pay attention to the humane in each of us and ignore the distractions of the materialistic society we live in. Then, we can all be happy and actually enjoy life, not just go through it as if it is a chore.
“We must rapidly begin the shift from ‘a thing-oriented’ society to a ‘person-oriented’ society.”
- Martin Luther King Jr