“I know that we all think we’re immortal, we’re supposed to feel that way, we’re graduating. The future is and should be bright, but, like our brief four years in high school, what makes life valuable is that it doesn’t last forever, what makes it precious is that it ends….Fight for what matters to you, no matter what. Because even if you fall short, what better way is there to live? (Gwen Stacy)
This is taken from the opening scene, the graduation speech of Gwen Stacy, and I believe has set the overall tone of the story Spiderman 2. While many have read the original comics story and knew already what will happen, It still was a tragic vicarious experience when you’re in there. After 2 hours of victorious fight, I was in the height of feeling successful, as if I can identify with Peter Parker’s triumphs (Oh, yes, every man has a Superhero-effect), when the mood all over the cinema started to change… Gwen Stacy died. (Watch the movie for details). What made everyone died in the movie house for seconds is the fact that a superhero (who should be saving lives) was not able to save the life of the one very precious to him. There was a foreshadowing in the picture Peter posted on his wall saying “Do I have to lose you too?” beside Gwen’s picture.
The ending is pretty obvious to everyone, yet there’s still that shock – as if no one knows. Because it’s different when you’re there! That’s exactly many people today feel. Yes, things are pretty obvious already given a certain decision in our lives, yet “It’s different when you’re there!”
I remember back when I was in High School. My parents would tell me about the consequence of certain bad decisions, and so I would listen. Yet, It’s different when you’re there… And all of the counsel and advice are seemingly unheard of… because It’s different when you’re there!
In the story, Peter is struggling to reconcile his feelings for Gwen with the promise he made to her late father: that he’ll keep her away from his life of crime fighting. That should have saved Gwen’s life. Yet, it’s different when he’s there. The love story ended with more harm than benefits. And the same thing is happening in reality. Because people are too careless of the decisions they make, they end up destroying lives, not just theirs, but other people’s as well.
“Nobody makes a decision for me. This is my choice.” – As Gwen Stacy answered, and yes, It was the beginning of the downfall of anyone – when we put our trust in our own choices, and shy away from the counsel of people around us. It’s as if we’re saying, we know life to the fullest extent, and we are not prone to making wrong decisions anymore.
The Bible says, “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” (Proverbs 11:14 ESV). Life is not defined by how many great decisions you’ve made, but how willing you are to seek for counsel and advice. We do not have the monopoly of right decisions and good ideas. Many will seek their own hearts regarding matters like these. In fact, it has been the common conflicts of so many stories, whether fiction or reality. Even in relationships, it will always be easier (and sweeter) to seek one’s own heart. The Bible warns “The heart is deceitful above all things, and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9 NIV)… Yet, it’s different when you’re there! And because of the romantic atmosphere, and the temporary pleasure, we exchange what is important to what is seemingly immediate.
Peter burst out, “You’re wrong that we’re on different paths. You’re my path.” Sounds romantic. And any girl would fall for a guy like that, despite what her parents, friends and people around her would advice. Because it’s different when you’re there.
I will always be a fan of Superheroes – but somewhere along the story, there is always something that we may not be able to change in the details of the story, but we can know better and change our reality. Just as the movie says, “Change isn’t just a slogan. It begins with hard work.”
My admonition to all of us, let’s seek counsel in our decisions in life. Do not just trust our own emotions. A little decision not carefully thought can break you and other people.
Thanks Joppet Tan for the idea!