In light of the failed coup attempt in Washington on January 6, this excellent movie by Pixar became a meaningful one.
Soul, to be seen on Disney+, deals with a simple question facing all human beings, namely what is great about living on this earth for a very short period of time. How is it that anger, bitterness and disappointment ruins so many lives?
In this case Joe Gardner, voiced by Jamie Foxx, is a middle school band teacher who suddenly is offered the chance to play the piano with a popular jazz band. Deciding to follow his dream and leave his students behind, he suffers an accident that lands his soul in The Great Before.
It is here that souls of the deceased follow an escalator to the Great Hereafter while new ones get their personalities before going to earth. Desperately wanting to return, he becomes friends with 22 (Tina Fey), a soul with no interest in living on earth.
As you watch Joe and 22 embrace the human condition as they search for the meaning of life, make sure you have some tissue handy. On top of that, the movie becomes hysterical beyond words as you watch Joe return in the body of a cat and 22’s soul in the human Joe.
But as I, like many, watched the domestic terrorists invade our Capitol at the bidding of our disgraced President, Soul caused me to ponder their purpose. What caused them, which includes Mr. Trump, to throw away the Christmas spirit that involves love, understanding and friendship with your fellow man in exchange for hatred and violence?
They certainly need to be prosecuted. Their actions that resulted in the deaths of 2 police officers cannot be forgiven. That includes those who both encouraged them and then sought to do their bidding.
Instead of being consumed by propaganda asserting that the election of Joe Biden was based on fraud, shouldn’t all of us follow Joe Gardner’s discovery of the joy of taking a deep breathe in the morning and taking a walk with a smile on our face? This is a Democracy where friends will share passionate disagreements but they need to remain friends.
As all of us eventually come to the end of life’s journey before going to the great beyond, don’t we want to avoid reflecting on life with great regret? The time to love your neighbor, regardless of differences, as yourself is now. Joe Gardner found the joy of praising a talented female trombone playing student. Let us try to make the United States a more honorable place to live than it was when a soul hooked up with us at birth.
Let us hold hands, reject violence and again learn the joy of laughter, shall we?