"Slumdog Millionaire"

I can’t imagine I have anything original to say about this movie. I am the last person I knew to see it. Everyone else on earth has been talking about it for six months. It won ninety thousand Oscars. It’s not like it’s news to people that this movie is incredibly powerful and amazing. But I was so incredibly moved by it that I wanted to jot some thoughts down before I forgot them. Like I said – none of this is groundbreaking and I’m sure if you saw the movie and loved it then you already noticed these things, but still, they’re worth saying, I think. Also, if I’m wrong and there are still people out there who haven’t seen it, this may contain some spoilers.

So I present . . .

EVERYTHING I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT LIFE I LEARNED FROM “SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE”

#1) Bad things happen in our lives. Sometimes we don’t see the value of it, or the “Why,” until much later – but a time may come when those things can help us. God placed obstacles in Jamal’s life and then gave him a chance to use what he learned from all those obstacles to help him. I was so amazed by the structure of this movie, interspersing the “Millionaire” questions with the story of how in his life he came upon the answer.

#2) Happiness can exist in the most terrible of circumstances.

#3) When you have nothing, you are grateful for every little thing you have. When the kids come in out of the rain and sleep in the train car, or when they take refuge in the dingy abandoned hotel, it feels like the greatest of luxuries compared to where they were before.

#4) Love is not sex. Sex is not love.

#5) Money does not buy happiness. Jamal is better off and happier as the lowly tea guy than his brother is as a wealthy hit man.

#6) The last shall be first and the first shall be last. Meaning, a guy who goes on “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire” but doesn’t actually care about the money is maybe the only person in the world who deserves to win. A powerful message for our reality-TV world, where people are willing to eat bugs, date 25 women, throw themselves at Bret Michaels from Poison, live in a house with crazy strangers, and say or do pretty much anything in order to make money or get famous.

#7) Love is not about beauty. When Jamal gets Latika back, the first thing he does is kiss her scar. (At which point I began sobbing like a baby.) To the evil gang lord, she’s disfigured, but to Jamal she is even more beautiful than before.

#8) No matter how much wrong you have done, true repentance and atonement can bring you back to God. (I took a bunch of kids from my youth ministry program to see the movie last night, and we were discussing in the lobby whether we thought God forgave the brother in the end. I absolutely positively believe the answer is yes. With his final action, he freed the girl and gave her, and his brother, the happiness and freedom they deserved.)

#9) Guns, money, power and control don’t make a man great. Humility, purity and a good heart make a man great.

#10) Love conquers all.

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