Fifteen minutes into the movie, my heart was breaking and my eyes were filled with tears.
If you haven't seen it, or have been living under a rock for the past four months, the movie is about an underprivileged (that term makes me squirm) Harlem teenager who is 16 and still in middle school. Her mother abuses her in every way you could possibly imagine and her father's continuous rape resulted in two kids, one which has Down's Syndrome, and the AIDS virus.
The story is shocking, revealing and thought-provoking and it made me angry.
I'm angry that there are people out there that have to go through that every day. I'm angry that there are people out there that would do that to their own children. But more than that, I'm angry that I rarely even think that this is a reality in the world that I live in.
I'm so thankful that I grew up in a home where I saw love and knew love the way that it should be known. I'm thankful that I knew love as unconditional and sacrificial and not abusive and degrading. And I'm thankful that I never had to worry about so many of the things that girls like Precious have to endure day in and day out.
But now I'm angry at myself for not considering that everyone else on the earth and even down the street aren't experiencing the world like I have been privileged to experience it. And I'm mad that I could've possibly spent everyday of my grade school education sitting next to people like Precious and never even cared to know.
In the movie, Precious gets kicked out of her school because she is pregnant. (Which is a whole different blog post that I will save for another day.) She attends an "alternative" school where she takes a class that will help her in reading and writing. Her teacher has her students write in journals, and when she reads them, she writes back.
I was taken by her style of teaching as on the first day, she simply began class by each student introducing themselves to the class (if they wanted) and then she told them to write in their journals for 15 minutes. She didn't care what they wrote about. They just had to write.
I remember having to write journals in so many classes in middle school, high school and college. I remember dreading having to do it most of the time, but as I look at what my passions are in life, writing is one of them and then I look back on where that came from and it stems from my teachers fueling that passion through the same practice that Precious' teacher used.
As I've grown older, I've become more communicative, I think, in certain aspects of my life. I still believe that I share my feelings better through the written word than I do through speaking. But I believe that as I've become more passionate about certain issues, I've surprised myself at how I've been able to articulate that passion orally -- something I never really was good at when I was younger. And I think that stems from my ability to put that passion into writing. Writing helps you organize your thoughts, separate the positive from the negative and work through emotions. And that is why I believe writing/literacy is a huge part of a child's education.
I still don't know what I want to do with my life (which is another thing that angers me). I know I could go on and on about how my parents spent all of this money for me to get two degrees and now I don't know if I want to do anything that has anything to do with them.
I do know what I'm good at. And I know what I'm passionate about. And writing is one of those things. I've been asking God to show me where he is leading me because I know it's not further down the road of sports information. Is it is ministry or charity? It is in public relations? Is it in teaching?
I don't know.
But what I do know is that I want my life to count. I want to make an impact. Not because I'm selfish but because I know that that is what God has called me to do. He's called me to impact the world for his glory.
I know that it may seem like one thing has nothing to do with the other in this post but just trust that it makes perfect sense in my mind.
And do me a favor? If you are in a position where you can impact lives like Precious, don't pass it up. You're not just doing Precious a favor. You are saving her life.