Do You Have The Courage To Watch This Movie?

I’m going to guess that 90% will claim you do, but then do nothing. Sorry, folks, but that’s who we are, and I hope by challenging you, you will prove me wrong. Let me explain:

Take a look around you. Are you happy with where our society has gone?  Does it bother you to see the amount of violence our society seems to accept as “normal?” Are you uncomfortable seeing children grow up with virtually no concept of right and wrong?  Does it trouble you that young adults seem to make up their own rules as they go along, eschewing the accepted values of society?

It should worry you.

But what should worry you even more is the realization that we are now reaping what we have sown for several generations spawned from those wonderful days of “the sexual revolution” of the 60s. Since then, we have (as a society) sub-contracted the job of raising our children (and, therefore, instilling values) to day care centers, school systems, and the government who now feels it’s their right to establish goals for sex education for our young.

Be mad. But be mad at ourselves.  As a society, all too often we have abandoned our posts as parents. We’ve passed on the one opportunity we get as parents to teach our children. And we are guilty of letting our children be subjugated by a society that has few or no values to offer. The problem we have created is threatening our society, dragging it into a cesspool of neglect and, in many cases, indifference. We have reached a point where young, single mothers with few morals see their babies as a hindrance to their dating and partying.  And all too often, it’s the children who pay a tragic price. But the problem really stems from those who father the children, then simply move on. Therein lies the focus of a movie that may be the most important film you may never have heard of.

In far too many cases, those men who have fathered children have simply walked away from their responsibility. Given the continued high statistics of absentee fatherhood, that million man march on Washington seems to have ultimately turned out to be little more than a Jesse Jackson moment. But the problem goes far beyond just inner city minority communities where we often hear the high statistics of single mothers trying to raise kids because of an absentee father. The problem is also prevalent in the suburbs and rural America.

So for now, forget about the statistics:  It’s your family that should matter more directly to you.  It’s not about the statistics for the black community. Or hispanic. Or white. Or whatever sub-group you would use to turn the attention away from the real offenders: fathers who find a way to justify shirking their obligation. And that crosses ALL levels of society.

So let me pose this important question to each of you: Do you have the courage that it takes to admit we have a problem? If you are a father, do you have the guts to look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself the hard questions? Questions like:

  • Have I done all I can to help my children learn the right values?
  • Have I shown my children how much they mean to me and my life?
  • Have I spent the time necessary to be such a part of their lives that they are confident in knowing I will be there when they need me?

Frankly, I doubt it. We convince ourselves we’re good parents. But using what standard?

I seldom tout movies on this blog, but I am going to stand on the Grant Rants soapbox and yell at the top of my lungs: “YOU NEED TO SEE THIS MOVIE!”

It’s called “Courageous” and it’s an honest look at the one of the biggest problems we have as parents today: Ourselves.

What’s that? You haven’t heard of the movie? No, and you probably won’t. There are no missiles being shot, nobody is getting their arms severed and the language is strictly “G” rated. But the story is a powerful and honest look at the failings men have as fathers, often not realizing the opportunity lost, or worse, the impact it has on our children.

Sometimes, we realize our errors in time. Other times, we don’t and find ourselves face-face with a tragedy from which it would seem nothing but pain can be gleaned. Once again: We reap that which we sow…

Courageous is more than a movie. It’s a wake-up call; one that the producers use as a challenge to all who see the film. In addition to the movie (and the movie’s web site), the producers have created another  site to provide support and resources for those who, after seeing the film, choose to begin their journey as a better parent.

But it will all go for naught if people don’t see the film. And the independent producers of the film just don’t have the kind of budget Hollywood has to promote something as good and important as Courageous. Why? Because Hollywood itself doesn’t have the guts to take a chance on something as important and wholesome as this film. I’m amazed (but grateful) the producer was even able to get a distribution deal.

But just as Canadian singer Dave Carroll was the beneficiary of friends, neighbors and those in the production business who banded together to produce his now-famous “United Breaks Guitars” song trilogy to highlight the problems with a certain airline’s customer service, the producers of Courageous were able to muster support from family members and members of the community of Albany, Georgia who came together to make this motion picture work.  And believe me, it works.

But now it’s up to you. And me. And all of us. If you are one of those people who is always complaining about how there’s so little quality available in movie theaters, it’s time to “walk the walk.”

Do you have the courage of your convictions to support a movie that can actually help us, as a society, get back on track? Or are you just one of those wannabe concerned citizens who complains about the state of movies but isn’t willing to actually make the effort to support a good movie like Courageous when it comes along? If you are part of the latter, you are probably also part of the problem.

I’ve never done this on Grand Rants before, but I’m putting out a challenge to each person who reads this: Go see Courageous before it’s too late. (I saw the film last night and there were no more than 4 people in the audience. Meanwhile the theaters showing films like Killer Elite, Paranormal Activity 3 and The Thing were nearly full.  Want to know why our society is sinking fast folks? There’s your answer.)

Then, after you have seen the movie, I challenge you to speak to your pastor, priest, rabbi or whatever religious leader you have, and ask them to put together a group from your church to attend a showing of this film. If I were rich, I would offer each person their money back if they didn’t feel the movie lived up to the expectations I have made here.  I believe in the power of this film that much.

I’m not a person who attends church on a regular basis, but I found this movie such an inspiration, it has gone beyond the goal of parenting for me.  It’s reminded me that I had better clean up my resume before that big meeting in the sky. I don’t have children of my own, but I know I can be a better person. And, thanks  to Courageous, I have realized that; and that I have the tools to do so. All it takes is the courage to admit we need to do better… and then to act on that courage.

Make yourself into a better parent, a better mate and a better person. See Courageous (while there is still time). Unlike movies with people, cars, zombies, aliens, planes, and buildings being blown to bits, this one may not be in theaters long. But it may well be the most important movie of the year. And, unlike those other movies, you might actually leave the theater a better person than when you went in.

Gerry Ashley

4 Responses to Do You Have The Courage To Watch This Movie?

  1. sfarels says:

    Saw movie today: it was all you claimed and more.

    Sobering that our society is going to the dogs, much in part to the “free love” and feminism that has tried to make fathers obsolete. Well, look and society and ask yourself: How is that working?

    This should be seen by all men and teen boys. This illustrates what and who a real man should be.

  2. Gerry Ashley says:

    Thank you for your thoughtful comment. This is a movie teachers should be assigning their classes to see with their parents.

    There’s another excellent film out there now that will probably do even less business at the box office, but it’s no less brilliant. It’s called “The Way” and stars Martin Sheen. It’s directed by his son, Emilio Estevez. who has done a brilliant job directing. It’s a father/son story that will also move you. I hope you will see if if you can find a theater that’s playing it.

  3. Best Movies Ever…

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