The Academy Awards were presented last Sunday evening, and as a life-long movie lover—I wrote film reviews in high school and college—I always try to catch up on nominated films beforehand. Thinking about my favorite movies, I’m reminded of one that still haunts me and which I highly recommend: “Whale Rider.” Filmed in New Zealand and released in 2002, the story follows a young Maori girl whose heart is full of spirit, conviction, and love for her grandfather and the ways of her ancestors. Fresh, funny, compelling and deeply moving, “Whale Rider” is a story that epitomizes the process of living one’s highest vision for oneself; indeed, the tagline for the movie is “One young girl dared to confront the past, change the present and determine the future.”
This week, may we examine those very components—may we look at where we need to confront the past, change the present, and determine our future. Like the girl depicted in “Whale Rider,” may we look with clarity and courage at the course our life is taking; and like this admirable character, may we be guided by—to use the memorable words of the Persian poet Rumi—“the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.” Indeed, that is a question worth returning to again and again: What do you really love? Where is that love pulling you now?