The Thing I Like About …

Thesis: the part where Chema tries to break into the classroom.

In Thesis, Angela and Chema are trying to figure out who made a snuff film they found.  They suspect someone at their university, so, as they investigate, they try to be secretive and inconspicuous. Chema decides he needs to break into one of the professors’ classroom, and he surreptitiously stands in the hallway wrenching at the lock with a screwdriver. Students walk by giving him strange looks, and he hides the screwdriver as best he can, but as soon as they go by, he attacks the lock again. He works at it for a while, but finally decides his screwdriver – or his criminal breaking-in abilities – are not up to the challenge of the lock. He starts to walk away, then turns back and tries simply turning the doorknob.

The door opens.

Chema, like most of us, has faced his obstacles with determination and the tools that seemed required; he has worked diligently for the goal he selected, and he gets frustrated when his efforts don’t pay off the way he expected. He walks away when the frustration gets too big to handle, but he also perseveres, coming back to try again.

The only thing standing in his way – besides the fact that he really doesn’t seem to know how to jimmy a lock – is the fact that he doesn’t actually have any obstacles.

Life certainly does have obstacles – things that require immense effort and perseverance, things that cause frustration and heartache and pain, things that sometimes get the best of us. But how many of our troubles are only “troubles” because we assumed they would be? How many of our troubles are only there because we never considered any easier solution?

It’s hard to make a list of “troubles” and possible solutions, but it’s easy enough to take a step back and reassess what the goal is. Chema goes back to the goal – open the classroom door – and looks for other paths to that goal, instead of wasting time on the methods and strategies that didn’t serve him.

What methods have you been using that don’t seem to be getting you anywhere? What strategies haven’t helped you get to the place you wanted to go? And, if you take that step back and reassess your goal, is the path to that goal really as complicated or difficult as it originally seemed to be?

Have you tried turning the knob?

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