Movie Review: The Blind Side
A few weeks ago I took my wife to see The Blind Side, starring Sandra Bullock. If you haven’t heard of the film, it’s based on the true story of Michael Oher—an offensive tackle for the Baltimore Ravens who was adopted as a high school student by the Tuohy family. The film touches on a host of issues; from morality to racism to athletics to foster care and everything in between.
I was a little hesitant to see the film—worried it would forsake the telling of a good story in order to cater to a certain agenda. It did no such thing. The characters were well-rounded and believable, the plot was predictable but still engaging, and the themes wove together to form a rather elegant tale. In fact, two themes really stuck with me as we left the theater: compassion and leadership.
Compassion does not wait.
Leigh Anne Tuohy notices Michael walking along the side of the road one evening as her family is driving home from a school volleyball game. She insists they stop for him and, learning he really has no place to go, she tells the kids in the back to make room for him. She didn’t decide that night to adopt him. She decided to help him however she could. The questions (legitimate and otherwise) around safety, appearance, logistics, etc. came up afterward and they worked through them. Had she ran through those concerns before letting him into her car, their story may never have taken place.
Leadership doesn’t equal driving the train.
The character of Sean Tuohy (played surprisingly well by Tim McGraw) struck me at first as a weak one. His wife is really driving their outreach to Michael and he’s seemingly just along for the ride. There’s a pivotal scene where Leigh Anne is expressing to Sean her desire to adopt Michael. She asks him if he’ll at least think about it. When he responds “Okay,” she asks if “okay” means “okay, I’ll think about it,” or ”okay, let’s adopt him.” I won’t give away his response, but needless to say, they adopt Michael. He could have said no. He could have expressed a hundred hesitations. That’s when I realized that he was leading by facilitating compassion in his family.
If you’re not the boldest guy on the block, I encourage you to facilitate compassion in your home. Don’t feel discouraged because your wife or someone else in your life is seemingly out-loving you. You can multiply those efforts by facilitating compassion and becoming an active participant in the things other people intitiate.
On the other side of the coin, maybe you often feel an urge to “do something” but quickly find a hundred reasons to disengage. Your concerns are probably legitimate, but they’re not unmanageable. Let your compassion get the better of you and see what adventures unfold.