I recently watched the movie Smallfoot, with a couple of my friends. Yes, it was a kid’s movie and yes we, even as a group of 20-year-olds, greatly enjoyed it. The movie revolves around village of Bigfoot or Yeti , as we call them, and how a bunch of Bigfoots try to find if Smallfoots (regular humans) exist or not. In their quest to find humans, they start questioning the traditions they have lived with all their lives, which are ironically, written on stones.
This movie shows how asking questions is important, how a single voice of reason is sometimes all you need. This is important in today’s day and age, where we often find ourselves surrounded by age-old customs. This movie is especially important for kids. It teaches them to ask questions. It makes them learn that the answers our elders give us may not always be the complete truth. Testing the boundaries and asking the right questions is important, and it starts when we are young. As a twenty year old on the brink of graduation, Smallfoot taught me that there’s always more than what meets the eye. To read between the lines is an art that we cultivate as we grow. Nothing in life is as black and white as it ever seems. We are the generation wading through the grey area, trying to find the middle ground.
Imagine the older generation in a changing world such as this. In the movie, we see how saddened Migo’s father got when found out that the giant sleeping snail in the sky was not actually a snail but a huge ball of gas. The father’s job was to wake up the “snail” every morning by hitting the gong with his head. One morning when he gets late in waking up, he finds the sun rising as it usually does, without his assistance. His life is turned upside down after this. He is left fumbling with his broken stone helmet. What is his purpose now?
Take a look around you, we live in a world bustling with the young. It’s the world of youth and technology. The youth is busy with technology and technology requires the young mind, together they prosper. What happens to our elders then? The capacity to understand how things work on the virtual screen is not for all. The generation gap today is huge. The old don’t speak the language of the young and the youth has forgotten how important our elders are. The need to infuse new blood in every organization has made the senior members dispensable, which shouldn’t be the case. We need to remember that experience is a vital thing. However, our elder generation needs to be more inclusive of the changing times.
Migo’s father encourages Migo to go and stand up for what he believes in. In India, we find a huge chunk of the population to comprise of educated minds demanding for change, asking for the old ways to go and new better methods to come in its way. Be it in the judicial sector or the administrative sector, we find methods and times changing everywhere. People are demanding for laws , to be completely overhauled, stricter legislations to be brought into place for criminal misdemeanors. The logic behind all of this is that times have changed and with it the people have too. People want law and order suitable to the changing time, more suited to the evolved individuals.
Isn’t this what being a democracy implies? Collective decision-making? In the movie, the head of the village reveals why the stones came into being, why the entire deception regarding Smallfoots came into being in the first place. I feel if you play around with words enough , you can make anything sound reasonable. At first, Migo was convinced that keeping secrets from the populace was in the well-being of the many. But later on, he realizes reasoning with the populace and letting them decide what’s good for them is a far better call than making decisions on behalf of them. If given a chance, people are capable of deciding what is best for them. After all, rationality is the cornerstone of every civilization.
Picture Credits : people.com