Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A Little Nugget of Wisdom from It Takes a Man and a Woman

Disclaimer: this is not a movie review :)

Okay, call me whatever you want, but I watched It Takes a Man and a Woman starring John Lloyd Cruz and Sarah Geronimo yesterday. In the name of research, you understand ;) In my line of work, I need to constantly update myself about pop culture and potential/current clients' recent movies or projects. Of course, I was also curious about the costumes, and how the outfits represent the characters*, and other such details.

The storyline wasn't as solid as I'd like it to be, but I found a surprising nugget of wisdom in the speech given by Miggy Montenegro's (John Lloyd's character) late father. Paraphrased, his character says that in the quest for being the best, we forget how to be good, which is ultimately more important. This struck a nerve because I've recently been wanting to do more in my career in the near future, and I've had several opportunities to advance it but at the expense of integrity. This is going to be a long post, so you can leave while you can. ;)

Whether it may mean being honest, trustworthy, responsible, accountable, humble, or being a person of integrity, being good is very easy to forget to do; in fact, being or doing good most times feels unnatural to do, simply because of my sinful human nature. The people I encounter or situations I face sometimes even fuel my desire to get ahead at any cost. It is really only by depending on and listening to God moment by moment that I remember that getting ahead in this life is temporary and lasts briefly, but each decision I make, however trivial it seems, has eternal bearing.

That while others may be distrustful, I should as a good manager instruct clearly, train patiently, and delegate as needed. While others may be fearful of the future (this used to be me all the time, worrywart, anxious Jill!) I am strong and courageous to face a future that is prosperous and full of hope as God has promised in Jeremiah 29:11. While others may hide information, I share without fear of getting the wool pulled over my eyes, being overtaken, or having projects stolen from me. On this note, I appreciate very much the generosity of industry veterans such as 1) my mentor Sidney, who openly shares his experience and shoot details with me; and 2) Rex Atienza, who on a few occasions we've worked together, patiently answered my questions about styling and making it a viable, scalable business.

To be honest, I really don't enjoy being "good" many times throughout the week. It means to give up my huge ego and apologizing for something I didn't do, although it softens the heart of a protective manager and builds a better, more trustworthy relationship with her and her client. Being good may at times mean taking on a project even if it doesn't pay well or at all, and to carry it out to the best of my abilities, out of respect to our partners and clients. Being good is being grateful for such jobs and the opportunity to do excellent work despite circumstances, short lead times, shoot temperatures, etc. Being good is looking out for a friend or loved one who is sometimes very frustrating to look out for! Being good is being patient with someone who needs assurance and answering the phone with a smile even when I may not feel like picking up. Being good is contrary to my human nature. The apostle Paul captures this internal tug-of-war perfectly in Romans 7:15: "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do."

I find being good to be difficult; to be perfectly good is impossible! I know no one can do good on his own, no matter how hard he tries. When I choose to do good, it's not so I can earn God's love or live forever, because nothing I do will ever be enough to get there. Doing good -- if at all -- is just a byproduct of what God did. Thanks be to Him for giving me the hope that is in Jesus Christ, the one who died for my past, present, and future sins, and who was and is victorious over sin and death. It is only because of Him who supplies the good in me that I am able to choose integrity over covertness, patience over frustration, calm over panic. It is with this same hope that I choose "good," the same assurance that good prevails. Always and forever.

* It is on my bucket list to style the wardrobe in a movie one day. I'd love to help develop characters in their style of dress, as it affects the way they carry themselves, set the mood in a scene, and develop the story in general. One of my favorite works is the wardrobe created by Amy Westcott for The Black Swan, which stars Natalie Portman.

Above, the virginal, naive, perfect Nina Sayers. Below, a darker, more daring persona ready to attack anyone who stands in her way.

What can I say? Sublime :)

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