The Santa Claus Movie: He Is Always Joyful
ALERT! SPOILER AHEAD:
In the Christmas comedy Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus, starring Steve Guttenberg and Crystal Bernard, Santa Claus is preparing to retire, and his son Nick played by Guttenberg is next in line to take over his dad’s long-time role as Santa. However, there is one catch. Santa must find a bride before December 26th.
In his endeavor to meet the future Mrs. Claus, Nick finds himself in some precarious situations. The most challenging one is to convince his hopeful bride-to-be, Beth Sawtelle played by Crystal Bernard, that she is the one he wants to marry and that he really is Santa.
I’ve seen many Christmas movies, but what I enjoyed about this one is how joyful Santa was regardless of what he faced. In fact, in one scene the holiday shoppers are hustling and bustling about, shopping for last minute items, as they abruptly bump into Nick, without any apologies. He apologizes to them, followed by his famous Santa Claus laugh, “ho, ho, ho!”
No matter what seems to be happening around him, he keeps a positive and joyous attitude.
I know, I know. You’re probably thinking that if you were Santa you’d be jolly all the time, too. However, something should be said about not letting the everyday hustle and bustle of life disrupt our joy.
In the Bible it is written in the book of James 1:2, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds” (ESV). What? Count all the annoyances, trials, and hardships as “all joy.” That seems IMPOSSIBLE! Yet it is a suggestion, a directive from James.
Matthew Henry’s commentary on this subject reads, “Christianity teaches men to be joyful under troubles: such exercises are sent from God’s love; and trials in the way of duty will brighten our graces now, and our crown at last. Let us take care, in times of trial, that patience, and not passion, is set to work in us: whatever is said or done, let patience have the saying and doing of it.”
Christmas time does seem to lift the energy in people, elevate their hopes, and unearth altruism, but does it have to end when the Christmas season ends?
In the textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, for Christian Scientists, the founder and discoverer of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy wrote, “Soul has infinite resources with which to bless mankind, and happiness would be more readily attained and would be more secure in our keeping, if sought in Soul.” She intends for the word Soul here to mean God.
But how does one keep his or her joy in God? By God’s Holy, Living Spirit.
The joys of the world are temporal, yet does that mean God wants us to be walking around as if nothing here can bring us joy? No! It means that regardless of what we do or do not celebrate, if we put a tree or not, if we get gifts or give them, our joy is still intact in God. However, I would love to trust the idea that God celebrates so we celebrate.
In the letter to the Philippians 4:4, the apostle Paul wrote, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice” (ESV), So even if the world has the incorrect date of Jesus’s birth what is important is that we are rejoicing together to acknowledge the birth of our savior.
Santa Claus symbolizes more than just one season or one day. And though he has been criticized as well as Christmas itself, Santa Claus nor Christmas have to be labeled as un-Christ-like.
Rejoicing may often look like parties, food and gift giving.
The Christmas tree could symbolize the life of Christ at His birth, full, sturdy and decked in majesty and light before it was stripped down and used as a patibulum. The lights that people use to decorate outside their homes could be viewed as symbolizing the star that the wisemen followed to meet Christ. The gifts we exchange could very well be seen as demonstrations of gratitude for those in our experience whom we cherish.
Our attitude about Christmas will determine whether it is worth celebrating, but if looked at from Scrooge’s point of view before his revelation, it will seem like consumerism at its best. However, if seen through the eyes of Santa, then the negative attitude of others will not move you from your joy, and you too will be laughing, “ho, ho, ho.”
In 1 Thessalonians 5:16, the apostle Paul wrote to those in Thessalonica, 16 “Rejoice evermore.”
ESV-English Standard Version
If I Only Had Some Oil.
There have been many interpretations, allegories and metaphors of “The Wizard of Oz” that refer to the political and economic social events in America during the 1890s. Along with those are some religious allegories.
When I think about this classic movie, many ideas come to mind, but in this particular article I would like to focus on one character, the “Tin Man.”
When Dorothy, Toto and the Scarecrow’s path crosses the Tin Man’s in the forest, they find him rusted and unable to move. The Tin Man tries to tell Dorothy that there’s a can of oil nearby, but she doesn’t understand him because his mouth is rusted shut, so Scarecrow interprets for him. Dorothy gets the can of oil and asks Tin Man where she should oil him first. Once again she cannot discern what he’s saying and again Scarecrow interprets, telling Dorothy to oil the Tin Man’s mouth. After she oils his mouth she continues to lubricate the Tin Man’s joints and little by little he regains movement.
The interesting idea here is that tin doesn’t rust; it oxidizes, but iron-based metals rust. So why did the Tin Man rust?
Unlike in the famous 1939 movie, originally, the Tin Man wasn’t tin, he was made of wood. In L. Frank Baum's book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, published in 1900, we’re told that the Woodman experiences some tragedies, which cause him to become The Tin Woodman.
Woodman, otherwise known as the “Tin Man,” was your everyday, average person made of flesh and bones whose name was Nick Chopper. He was a very skilled woodsman like his father before him. Nick learned this craft from his dad and like his dad, ended up chopping down trees in Oz for a living. In Oz there was a wicked witch east of Oz who controlled an area called “Munchkin Country.”
Mr. Chopper was in love with a munchkin and the wicked witch did not approve, so she covertly bewitched Chopper’s axe so that each time he swung it, he missed the wood and cut off one of his limbs. Every time that happened, Nick would go see a man named Ku-Klip, the town’s tinsmith, who would make Chopper a new limb out of tin. Eventually, he ended up being made entirely of tin. But Ku-Klip was unable to replace Tin Man’s heart, which had broken due to the fact that he was unable to marry his beloved munchkin, with a fabricated one so Tin Man’s heart was never replaced.
Tin Man began as flesh and bones, but little by little he was broken down by his own hands, rebuilt artificially of tin and then left without a heart.
I realize that in terms of science tin doesn’t rust, so we need to assume that he was coated with steel or another metal that rusts. But I’d like to take another approach here and go out on a limb (no pun intended) and answer that the reason the Tin Man rusted was simply that he no longer had love!
The condition of a heartless individual could look very much like the Tin Man, stuck in the wilderness, rusted and waiting for someone to come along and love you back to life again. We know without doubt that we cannot live without a heart; I trust that we know we cannot live without love either.
So why the oil?
In the scriptural text oil was used for lighting the lamps at the temple, anointing priests and kings, and is a symbol generally associated with the Holy Spirit. It’s also linked to the word “gladness.”
In Psalms 45:7 (KJV) we read: "Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.”
The Hebrew word for “gladness” is simchah, meaning cheerfulness, welcome, joy; rejoicing.
In the Greek it is agalliasis, meaning exultant joy…wild joy, ecstatic delight, exultation, exhilaration.”
With all the challenges we face, gladness isn’t the easiest emotion to hold on to, so we could all use more oil to keep the gladness running over, especially in troubling times. The daily tasks, and trials of relationships, the setbacks, heartbreaks and disappointments may often make us feel as though our heart, too, has been ripped out of us, that we have given to another everything we can, to no avail, leaving us in a similar predicament as the Tin Man, rigid, stiff and stuck. But rather than waiting until we become so rusted from loneliness and grief, we should anoint ourselves with the restorative oil of scripture.
In Isaiah 61:1-3 (KJV) it is written that, "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;”
That is exactly what the oil did for the Tin Man. It set him free from bondage, thereby enabling him to travel with Dorothy and friends to Oz, where he ends up getting a new heart. So let us remember to keep the oil of gladness within our own reach, lubricating our thoughts with love in order to keeps us from getting stuck and losing heart!
A Post script; “Steel rusts, elder wood does not, it is soft and Venice was built on it ref. Spurgeon Sermon 538 “Caleb, A Man for Times.”
KJV-King James Bible Dictionaries.
No Man is an Island
“No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend's
Or of thine own were:
Any man's death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.” John Donne
Is the opacity of walls and doors an illusion that make us think that we are not connected to one another and that whatever goes on “behind closed doors” is not our business?
It seems to me that the world belief is just that, but are we kidding ourselves and is this belief necessary for us to justify the lack of support, charity and kindness that we should show to others?
Privacy is of course, a very important idea and a necessary one, but metaphorically speaking, if all the walls came crashing down, then it would be much more difficult for evil deeds to be inconspicuous.
*ALERT SPOILER AHEAD*
This concept reminds me of a movie with the very talented (in my view) Denzel Washington, The Book of Eli, a post-apocalyptic action tale portrays a world, which has now been turned into a wasteland 30 years after a nuclear apocalypse. Denzel Washington’s character, Eli, who happens to be blind, though not at all obvious, is carrying The Bible to a specific destination in order to save mankind. Along his journey, across demolished and ravaged lands he finds himself battling with villainous characters who try to thwart his success.
Gary Oldman’s character, Carnegie is set on taking The Bible from Eli because he has the understanding of its power and of course as most sinister thinkers do, he wants it for himself.
Though Eli wants peace, he finds himself consistently jeopardizing his life in order to protect the written words of God. It’s almost as if the movie indirectly asks the question, “How would we behave if all the walls came tumbling down and we were left to self govern and self -protect?” It might look like The Book of Eli and even some old westerns where there was no law to govern the people.
Evil has been around since the “so-called” fall of man, but in The Book of Eli the fight against evil portrays a more apparent and blatant external picture of wicked thoughts.
The goodness that Eli strives to accomplish in the midst of such depravation depicts how there are no more hiding places to shield evil. It is walking the streets, out in the open, threatening to capture and destroy Eli who has within his possession, the Holy Writ.
On a day to day basis for those of us who are striving, not only as Eli did to hold onto the holy word, but to live it, the battle in our own minds, homes, neighborhoods, governments, corporations, societies, and world seem to often emulate the same challenges that Eli faced by those who are working diligently to prevent us from practicing peace, love charity and the inclusive good for all.
Below are some of the alarming and startling statistics that substantiate the idea that though closed doors provide privacy and safety, they also harbor evil and mask abominable acts.
The Book of Eli, though a grotesque picture of how the world would look if left to the government of evil is an accurate projected picture of how wickedness in thought becomes manifested in deed.
To expose evil is to destroy it! To harbor it is a conspiracy against us all! In the gospel of John 3:20, John writes that “All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed.” NLT
Today, there are television and news programs that have been in the “exposure” business as well as many charitable organizations and foundations aimed at uncovering malevolent, pernicious and inhumane acts, so If walls were transparent and we could see what may be going on that needs to be halted, then how much more involved would we be? With the statistics of what is taking place that we don’t see first hand that we would be face to face with, we would be hard pressed not to get involved.
Today, there are many ways in being beneficial to improve the conditions of our world without putting ourselves in harms way. After all, we are not all trained like Eli, but with constructive and peace-loving ways, from praying and blessing others, to donating to causes that fight for the rights of those who otherwise have no voice or no hope for escape on their own, to volunteering or to just learning to love more will be like a soothing balm, that seeps into the pores of all mankind.
Caring for ourselves must include caring for others if we want to experience a more peaceful and loving existence and leave a world that way for our children.
We read in 1 Corinthians 12:26 “If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.” ESV
To exist thinking that we do not effect one another, to think that we can be an island unto ourselves and block out what needs healing, is not only self serving, but delusional!
No man is an island nor can he separate himself from the rest of mankind even though he thinks he can in his own mind, for as Helen Keller said so profoundly, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
KJV-King James Bible
ESV-English Standard Version
With God. Without God.
In the movie Knight and Day, a romantic action comedy, Tom Cruise plays a spy, Roy Miller, who is trying to clear his name, while Cameron Diaz’s character, June Havens, finds herself inadvertently caught up in his chaos. (See the trailer at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1013743/.)
June is ready to go back home and continue the mundane life she had before meeting Roy, so she tells him that staying with him is too dangerous, and turning herself in to the authorities is safer. Roy puts his hand up high and says, “With me,” then lowers his hand, and says, “Without me.” [video clip]
This gesture signifies that she will have a much better chance of staying alive if she stays with Roy.
Not only is this movie very funny, but that particular scene made me think of how my life was without God.
Without God, I felt insecure and unprotected.
With God, I was guided and directed.
Without God, I was so often frightened.
With God, I became enlightened.
Without God, sickness abounded.
With God, health resounded.
Without God, anger was my tool.
With God, no longer was I a fool.
I’d like to thank the writer of Knight and Day, Patrick O’Neil, for being so clever and using that idea in his script. If we could all have a character like Roy Miller in our lives, to protect us and take us on an adventure, that would be great, but since most of us don’t have a Roy Miller, we can choose an even better protector, God.
I have chosen my Knight and “with Him,” all has most definitively improved. As Luke wrote in chapter 1:7, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” (KJV)
KJV-King James Version
William Shakespeare wrote in, As You Like It,
“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances…”
As a child, when I first discovered my love for singing and writing, I had high hopes of going to Broadway and performing in a musical. Unexpected circumstances and events led me in another direction, yet the joy of singing and writing remained in my heart. Eventually, this led me to understand the profoundness of Shakespeare’s statement.
Even though I would not perform on a Broadway stage, the world would essentially become the arena where I would carry out certain roles. Some of these included being a child, friend, wife, church member, mother, and business woman. Every day, I was given the opportunity to perform each role poorly or well.
In the same respect, each one of us is given some kind of opportunity to be a player in life. The part we have been offered or choose and prepare for must be well thought-out before we accept it, because our friends and family, along with the rest of the world, will remember whether we carried out that role with greatness or mediocrity.
When I think of Oscar winners who are considered by the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences to have acted their roles with excellence, I ponder how they became transformed into the character in order to make the performances believable and award-worthy.
In some cases, such as Adrien Brody as Wladyslaw Szpilman in The Pianist, preparing for a role was grueling. “Brody gave up his apartment, sold his car, and moved to Europe with only two bags so he could get familiar with his character's discomfort. The actor … also went on a crash diet and lost 30 pounds in six weeks, weighing 130 pounds at his lightest during shooting. He also took piano and dialect lessons.”1 His intention was to experience what real hunger was like in order to understand the suffering of the real-life-character whom he was playing.
In the movie Black Swan, Natalie Portman plays the role of Nina Sayers, a ballerina. In preparation for her role, she trained with Mary Helen Bowers, a former N.Y.C. ballet dancer. Her regiment included dancing for eight hours a day, six days a week, for more than a year; she also swam, cross-trained, and took endurance classes.2.
One of my favorite examples is what Jamie Foxx did to prepare for his role as Ray Charles in the movie, Ray. “Foxx lost 30 pounds by fasting for a full week and then doing daily workouts and adhering to a strict diet. But the real commitment came during filming when Foxx agreed to wear prosthetic eyelids glued over his eyes to mimic Charles' blindness. It caused the actor to have panic attacks during the early weeks of shooting and crew members would sometimes leave him on set, forgetting he couldn't see. In addition, Foxx, who went on to win Oscar gold for the performance, learned to play all of the piano parts in the film.”3 Mr. Foxx said he did this because the director of the film, Taylor Hackford, thought it would be beneficial if Jamie knew how it felt to understand the darkness that Ray Charles lived in.4
It may seem easier for these actors and actresses to shine because they already have a script to follow, a director directing them, make-up artists, perfect lighting, a supporting cast, and even acting coaches, but nevertheless, each player ultimately has to memorize his or her lines, invest in the character, make sacrifices, and execute with perfection. We too have a script to follow. The writers and directors are prophets, apostles, preachers, philosophers, theologians, bible scholars, and great thinkers whose works refer to love, peace, harmony, philanthropy, benevolence, and altruism.
For those of us who are not performers by profession, we should consider welcoming the idea that the world is our stage, and that by adopting the techniques of these dedicated actors and actresses and applying them to whatever it is that we do, our performance level will elevate and command respect.
My mom used to remind me that no matter what I ended up doing as a profession, I should do it with love in my heart. I have since learned that my everyday life is my Broadway stage, and my role is to be loving in all things. This requires dedication, sacrifice, and constant practice, sometimes tasks even more grueling than what these award winning performers endured, because this role does not expire when the film is completed.
I am sure if I were to take a survey of all those who have seen my performances in these roles, many would not vote in favor of my getting an Oscar! As I continue to perfect my performance, I applaud those who have already succeeded in perfecting theirs.
To embrace this idea of the world being your stage and you merely a player, consider adding love to all that you do, and then just maybe you will be called up to a grander stage and receive an award for best the performance!
1 Zemler, Emily. “15 Actors Who Went to Seriously Extreme Measures for a Role.” ELLE. 2016. Accessed August 27, 2016. http://www.elle.com/culture/movies-tv/a33861/extreme-role-prep/.
Change Part II
*ALERT SPOILER AHEAD*
Pleasantville is a fantasy comedy film based upon two teenagers who go back in time during the 1950’s where their more modern day mentality begins to effect and influence the mundane atmosphere in the town called Pleasantville. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120789/
This movie meant more to me than just a visit back in time to the way things used to be in the 1950’s. It offers a view of how resistant people can be to change and the division it creates when fear strikes at the heart of ordinariness.
Pleasantville was written, produced, and directed by Gary Ross. The film stars Tobey Maguire, Jeff Daniels, Joan Allen, William H. Macy, J. T. Walsh, and Reese Witherspoon, with Don Knotts, Paul Walker, and Jane Kaczmarek in supporting roles. New Line Cinema released the movie here in the United States through Warner Bros. on October 23, 1998, but it still remains a favorite of mine as a useful reminder that change is inevitable, which opens up doors to newness and marvel.
Tobey Maguire’s character plays a teenage boy, who is quite satisfied with his mundane lifestyle even though he is very interested in one particular girl. His sister Jennifer, played by Reese Witherspoon, is more extroverted and likes her life just the way it is.
One night, Jennifer plans a meeting at her house with one of the more popular boys at school, because her mom has gone out of town, but her brother has a different idea. He plans on watching the marathon of “Pleasantville” his favorite show of which he has been preparing to enter a contest, but he ends up in a battle over the remote control with his sister as they fight over who gets the downstairs TV that night. This results in the remote getting thrown across the room. Jennifer becomes unraveled because the remote is broken and her date is due to arrive at any moment.
A TV repairman played by Don Knotts inadvertently, shows up at their house. Jennifer lets him in, but both teens are perplexed at the unexpected appearance of this man. Jennifer asks the man to “hurry-up” and fix the TV, so the man asks what the hurry is. Jennifer says it is because she has a date, but Bud explains it is the Pleasantville marathon he wants to watch. The man is happy to hear that Bud likes Pleasantville and begins asking him trivia questions about it and Bud not only gets all the answers correct, but he actually corrects the man on one answer.
The man gives the teens another remote that is quite unique and unusual. After he leaves, the teens once again fight over the remote and during the struggle, buttons are pushed. Instantly, they find themselves in black and white in Pleasantville, no longer David and Jennifer, but rather the TV characters, Bud and Mary-Sue Parker.
David and Jennifer are shocked and confused. The TV repairman is now on the TV in Pleasantville and very enthused that he finally found someone, David, who appreciates Pleasantville as much as he does, but David gets angry, questioning why the man did that to them. The man feels rejected and dismayed by David’s response to what he thought was a kind gesture to a fellow Pleasantville fan so he tells David he is leaving, that he needs to go “cool off.”
David tries to encourage him not to leave, but is unsuccessful.
Bud and Betty-Sue’s folks, played by Joan Allen as Betty and William Macey as George see the teens as their own children, so Bud reminds and encourages Betty-sue to stick to their roles until he figures out how to get them out of there. Mary-Sue, a.k.a. Jennifer is furious, frightened and very much resistant to the idea, but soon realizes that she has no other choice but to concede to Bud’s suggestion.
As the movie unfolds, Bud still keeps a very conservative role just as David did back home. Mary-Sue remains in her role, too and this will eventually shake-up the ultra-conservatism of Pleasantville.
Though Bud repeatedly reminds his sister that she needs to respect the values of Pleasantville, she has a different viewpoint, especially when she meets the boy that Mary-Sue dates, Skip Martin played by Paul Walker. She immediately is attracted to him and begins to plot a way to put the moves on him of which she has had much practice. Bud sees the look on her face that he ahs seen before and again reiterates that she needs to behave exactly how Mary-Sue would, but his words fall on deaf ears.
In the meantime, the TV repairman is now trying to get David and Jennifer out of Pleasantville because of the disruption going on. He reprimands David, reminding him that he thought David was a true Pleasantville fan, but he is acting like a traitor. David tries to calm down the TV repairman, but to no avail.
This impels David to pleads with his sister to stop changing things in the town, but she suggests that maybe the town needs changing.
In the meantime, Bill Johnson, the malt shop owner is waiting for Bud, who works at the shop, to get there and help make the food. Bud is late and Mr. Johnson is unsure what to do, so he just continues to wipe down the counter over and dover again. When Bud gets there he sees that Mr. Johnson is still cleaning the counter, in fact so much so, it has left a mark on the countertop. Bud interrupts Mr. Johnson and Mr. Johnson explains that he did not know what else to do without Bud. Bud tells him that it is okay for him to make the fries on his own. Mr. Johnson thanks him for that information.
That same night at the shop, Mr. Johnson tells Bud that there are no burgers and this time Bud thoroughly explains to Mr. Johnson that he is capable of making those, too.
This is the onset of Bill’s change.
He later stops over at Bud’s house and tells him that he was able to do the work at the shop, “all by himself.” He explains that he even changed the order of how he did his work and while Bud emboldens Bill’s actions, in the doorway enters Bud’s mother, Betty. She and Bill exchange greetings, intimating a an affection for one another.
In the interim, Betty-Sue has accomplished her goal of getting Skip to lover’s lane where he loses his virginity. On his way home he notices that a rose has a burst of color to it. He tells the basketball team at school of his experience and before long other students are at lover’s lane following suit.
Pleasantville begins to transform from black and white to color, which ignites fear in many of the townspeople.
During work at the malt shop, Bud finds Mr. Johnson huddled in a corner contemplating his life. Bud takes him to the storage room and asks him what the problem is and Mr. Johnson tells him that essentially his life doesn’t really have meaning, that everyday is the same. He says, “Grill the bun flip the meat melt the cheese. It never changes,” but when he closed the shop himself, “that was different” and he liked it. Bud, fearful and adamant, shouts out that Bills should “forget about that.” He goes on to tell Bill that jobs need to be done whether or not people like doing them, but Bill questions that. He goes on to reveal to Bud that he likes Christmas time, because he paints the ornaments, that he “looks forward to all year, but that it seems “silly… a awfully long time to be waiting for one moment.” Bud suggests that Mr. Johnson stop thinking about that and Mr. Johnson passively agrees.
Change is taking place all over town; the undefeated high school basketball team has lost a game. furniture stores are now selling full-size beds and Betty has decided to break her routine at home after she discovers that her womanhood is not confined to being a housewife. She is kind enough to leave prepared meals for George before she leaves him and even includes dessert, but this bold move not only disturbs her George, but he “demands” to know when she will return. Without answering him, she ventures off to Bill’s shop and she is not the only woman making these kinds of changes. With color is still bursting all around and the revisions occurring, more fear arises and ultimately there is a division in the community.
Bud comes to realize that Mr. Johnson now has a new way of thinking, so he is inspired to bring him a book on some of the greatest artists. This results in Bill painting a naked mural of Bud’s mom in vibrant colors on the window of his store.
Violence breaks out and the store is vandalized, so the leaders of the community call a meeting to find a resolve.
During this time, Betty-Sue is grappling with why she has not yet become colorized and tells her brother that she has had “ten times as much sex as the other girls,” but remain in black and white. Her brother explains that maybe it is not the sex. This idea leads Betty-sue to a higher concept of herself. She takes on a different attitude and begins reading books, leaving sexual activity in her past. This new behavior transforms her from pasty to vivid.
Bud recognizes that the pattern of complicity and monotonous lifestyles of the community in Pleasantville is inhibiting and confining, so he forfeits the old way of conservatism and embarks upon his own journey of change. This leads him to a brighter sense of self.
In the end, the town’s people all become in one accord and life moves past the boundaries of fear, judgment and tedium.
Going from black and white or a life with only two options may be a safer way to live, but without uniqueness, variation and diversification, we remain insipid and prosaic.
Life is more beautiful with color. Paint some in your world!