Monday, 28 December 2009

Dream and Reality

Some say Avatar has provided yet another rosy haven for temporary escape from the despair of reality. I see it another way though. I think it is actually pointing to a direction we should be heading for. It indicates what we should have been doing. It is a call for reflection and change of our course of action. At the very least, it sends a positive message in terms of keeping the flames of our hope aglow by reminding us the forgotten elements of our nature.

Physically the Na'vi people are much stronger and taller than their counterparts from the earth. To me this is by no means coincidental. They are physically stronger because they maintain a primitive way of living without the technological advancements comparable to ours. The urge for survival and the environment in which they struggle for survival contribute to their robust physique. Despite all the hardships in the wild, they seem content and happy, living in harmony with the nature and enjoying that particular state of life.

All these good things about the Na'vi people are by no means foreign. At certain point of time in human history our ancestors were no different from the Na'vis. For some reason they had chosen to pursue recklessly something they created for themselves and made themselves enslaved by those inventions. Just because we believe we are the chosen people and that we are in charge, we have lost respect for the nature and replaced it with greed and unscrupulousness. We think we can take whatever we want from our promised land, but we were wrong.

Perhaps this is why the invaluable resource on Pandora that human beings in Avatar have been fighting for is called "unobtainium". Phonetically, it indicates something "un-obtain[ed]". Either it does not exist, or it exists but people simply can't get it. Whatever the reason may be, it can't be obtained. What a sarcastic word it is! People from the earth have been spending billions and billions of dollars in pursuit of this material. People have been trying whatever means they could resort to in order to secure access to this material. Just because it is tagged with an astronomical price and therefore contains countless dreams of unimaginable wealth. Yet by nature it can't be obtained. Everything that people do is doomed to fail. For someone who has grown more weary than ever of the capitalistic mode of economics and social development, it is certainly consoling to see people in other parts of the world are sharing a similar view of our world, our home, our land.

I don't know how much Avatar would encourage people to re-think their mode of living and, better still, to take actions to help. But it certainly encourages me to roll up my sleeve and continue to do what I have been doing on my part.

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