In spite of the fact that Sarah Jane had discouraged our doing so, Walker and I took a small group of close friends to see the movie Seven Pounds Friday night, mainly because she has one small but nicely done scene in it.
We all liked the movie just fine, although some of us found the story line a bit confusing and sometimes tedious, and all of us wished we had seen more of Sarah.
What I keep thinking about, though, is the Will Smith character, Ben, and the message he conveyed to the audience about organ donation.
My whole family is strongly in favor of increasing organ donation, especially after going through a living donation from my son-in-law, John, that saved our oldest grandson’s life. (For more about this go to my July and August posts.) http://onlycasualobservations.blogspot.com/2008_07_01_archive.html)
Having Will Smith make a movie about the good that can be done, especially among minority populations, by becoming an organ donor is like having a two hour public service announcement on the subject. The only difference is that we paid eight bucks for our seats instead of getting it for free on late night weekend television.
Some of the issues raised during his decision making process bothered me though. This movie had too much of one man playing God to suit me. Ben, who was obviously suicidal from the early scenes forward, carefully interviewed his prospective recipients and if they weren’t “good” people, he rejected them. Kind of like Santa, making his list and checking it twice crossing off all the naughty boys and girls.
Yes, there is a shortage of organ donors, especially for the big organs like hearts and lungs and livers that people tend to need to hang on to for their own use. It was really nice that the point was made that a living donor can donate a portion of his liver and live a healthy life.
It’s difficult for most of us to deal with the idea of a transplant list and who gets on it and when without really deciding whether they are truly going to appreciate the Gift of Life or perhaps waste it. I don’t think Ben was truly endowed with the kind of wisdom reserved only for God and the fancy computerized list that decides these things. No one man ever could be.
I hope you go see the movie and spot Sarah Jane Morris in a scene in a coffee shop with Woody Harrelson about halfway through the movie. (Don't blink or you'll miss it!) I hope you all sign your donor cards and let God do the deciding for you when the time comes.