A few nights ago I unplugged from the world, sat down in front of the TV, and watched Tomorrowland.
It’s a hugely enjoyable kids film – full of jet-packs, flying cars, androids, steampunk gadgets… In many ways it has the feel of 80’s movies like Back To The Future, or Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure, but whilst those films are classic enjoyable nonsense, Tomorrowland has at its core a much more interesting premise.
Though it takes far too long to get there, Tomorrowland eventually asks the audience this intriguing question;
Do we live in despair and fear
because the world is a terrible place
…or is the world a terrible place
because we live in despair and fear?
There’s a moment in Tomorrowland where the villain, played by the excellent Hugh Laurie, says these sad words;
“In every moment there’s the possibility of a better future, but you people won’t believe it. And because you won’t believe it you won’t do what is necessary to make it a reality. You dwell on this terrible future and you resign yourselves to it for one reason; because that future doesn’t ask anything of you today.”
As it happens these are ideas that I’ve been thinking about and playing with for a few months now in my ongoing pursuit of happiness. I’m yet to draw any solid conclusions – at least not ones that I’m ready to share – but I suspect that if I ever write a follow up to How To Do Everything And be Happy, well, there’s a good chance those thoughts will form the basis of the book.
In the meantime however I leave you with these wise words from Casey Newton, heroine of Tomorrowland, played by Britt Robertson.
There are two wolves who are always fighting. One is darkness and despair. The other is light and hope. The question is… which wolf wins?
The one you feed.