The Second Sunday of Easter
Third Sunday of Easter

Horton Doesn't Choose Civility

Holy Week and Easter just about did me in this year. I'm glad I went to New Orleans for four days of the KC group, but I'm not going to do a work camp during Holy Week again. I tend to forget resolutions like this within a year of making them, so please help me remember.

On Monday, my most brain-dead post-holiday day, I took Paul and Rosa to see the new movie version of Dr. Suess' "Horton Hears a Who". It was perfect for the state I was in, and all three of us had some laugh-till-we-cry moments. I particularly liked the ending which featured a group-sing of REO Speedwagon's "Can't Fight the Feeling Anymore". The song subverted all of our Disney-trained expectations for a closing musical number that drives home the moral of the story and instead offered kareoke.

There is a moral to the story, and it's not the anti-abortion message that some people apparently find in Horton's statement that "a person's a person no matter how small". Rather, the moral is quite simply that compassion trumps morality--a message that Jesus liked to drive home as well when he did stuff like heal people on the Sabbath, etc. Horton's compassionate acts are opposed by a kangaroo who "pouch schools" her child so that he isn't influenced by Horton and others who encourage imagination and exploration.

I know Howard County's "Choose Civility" campaign isn't intended to squelch creativity, but I couldn't help but notice the similarity between some of the kangaroo's comments and the tone of P.M. Forni's book, "Choosing Civility" on which the county's campaign is based. The kangaroo makes it quite clear that the reason why people's behavior needs to follow certain predictable rules is because it makes our world feel safer and more hospitable for children. Put that way, it almost makes sense.

Unless you're the type of person who listens so carefully that you actually start caring about things that other people don't even notice. I'm going to get a "Choose the Whos" bumper sticker.


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Heather, my husband and I took our children to see the movie tonight. I loved it. We've been reading the story to our kids for the last year or so, so I was interested in what they did with the movie.

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