Think about one of your favorite moments from a movie, TV show, or novel. Got it? Hold onto it for just a second.
Why is it a favorite, do you think?
Most likely, it’s because it’s evocative. It makes you laugh. Or cry. Or recall a memorable event in your life. Or maybe someone special to you.
These moments touch us because they tap into universal truths. A truth that applies to you no matter who you are. A truth that reaches to your core. Such as…
The need to be loved.
The desire to feel special.
The longing to be accepted.
The instinct to avoid pain or embarrassment.
The desire for connection.
Here are a handful of my favorite moments from different mediums. Do we have any in common?
The look on Willoughby’s face when he sees Marianne before she sees him is heartbreaking. Then the way the light fades from Marianne’s eyes when she realizes whatever there was between them is now gone. I feel her rejection. I identify with the sting of being the one not chosen. Both as a young girl and as a grown up.
Next, I adore the humor in this scene!
The way he’s known who she is and yet she’s been in the dark about his real identity. We know she’s going to find out, but we keep watching to see how she does it, and then how she’s going to react. The looks they give each other, the subtle vulnerability and longing. Ah… So good.
Next, I laughed out loud at this movie so many times…
(This is a long clip. Feel free to stop after the first couple of minutes. Or not.)
I. Love. That. Horse! And the hero with the horse. Their competition. Their shared terror. LOL. I love the innocence of the heroine, her excitement about experiencing something new and different. Yet I relate to her fear of the unknown too. Such a great movie!
And lastly, here’s a snippet from a favorite novel. I bet you’ll recognize it.
“…and she came walking in with a very queer expression of countenance, for there was a mixture of fun and fear, satisfaction and regret in it, which puzzled the family as much as did the roll of bills she laid before her mother, saying with a little choke in her voice, ‘That’s my contribution toward making Father comfortable and bringing him home!’
‘My dear, where did you get it? Twenty-five dollars! Jo, I hope you haven’t done anything rash?’
‘No, it’s mine honestly. I didn’t beg, borrow or steal it. I earned it, and I don’t think you’ll blame me, for I only sold what was my own.
As she spoke, Jo took off her bonnet, and a general outcry arose, for all her abundant hair was cut short.
‘Your hair! Your beautiful hair!’ ‘Oh, Jo, how could you? Your one beauty.'”
For you movie lovers, here’s the 7-second clip:
Oh, the bond those sisters shared in Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. The way they fought yet were always “for” each other.
And who can forget the scene when Beth dies? The pain of saying goodbye to those we love (deep universal truth). And how Beth says, “I don’t like being left behind.” Rip my heart out! Yet who among us can’t identify with that? The moment between Jo and Beth is so precious—and shapes the rest of the sisters’ journeys.
Just as these moments in our lives shape ours.
Watching these snippets again brings a flood of emotion, even though I know what’s coming. Because universal truths resonate within us long after the story or novel is done.
P.S. Another favorite moment, when you have the time, is the last scene from Toy Story 3. Oh, so poignant. Absolutely perfect. Did you cry like I did? Sniff, sniff…