I saw the movie Green Book this week about a wealthy African American concert pianist and his Italian chauffeur. They are driving through the racially segregated southern United States in 1962. The line in the movie that stayed with me was “the world is full of lonely people waiting to make the first move”.
Dr. Don Shirley the musician in the movie is a wealthy man. He is incredibly talented, lives in a luxurious apartment filled with fine art and beautiful furniture, and is cared for by a servant. He can speak eight languages, knows people in high places, and has been presented with two honorary university degrees.
Yet he is a lonely man. He is estranged from his brother. He is divorced. He says he is too much a part of the white world to have many black friends and because he is black he nevers feels his white acquaintances truly accept him. Will he make a move to get past his isolation and establish a bond with someone?
The movie made me think of a music video recently released by my favorite Winnipeg band Royal Canoe. It is called RAYZ. The man in the video is also a performer- one of those living statue artists who poses for money. Unlike Dr. Shirley he is poor, counting his pennies, living in a run down room, buying lottery tickets and going to bars alone. Sometimes he stares at people doing things together on the beach where he works. Is he wondering what it would be like to make the first move to establish some kind of bond with one of them?
There are lots of lonely people in our world. Perhaps we should think about altering the movie quote from…. “the world is full of lonely people waiting to make the first move” to “the world is full of lonely people waiting for us to make the first move.”