I don’t know what rock I have been living under, but I have never seen any of the Tyler Perry Madea movies. I really like the movies I’ve seen Perry in, so when Madea’s Family Reunion was on television (came out in 2006), I sat down to watch it and was pleased to see that manners still matter.
These movies have done so well that they have 10 of them! I can see why. They are about family dynamics. Whoever you are, you will find characters you can relate with. What a crack of that Perry plays many of the roles himself. Anyway, the movie wasn’t Oscar worthy by any means, but the script writing was incredible. If you pay attention, the movie is chock full of wisdom nuggets.
One scene in particular comes toward the end of the movie when the Grandma gives a speech to everyone at the family reunion. She says:
“I want more from you. Take your place. I want every single one of you, young man, young woman, turn to the next person standing alongside of you. Grab them and hug them and tell them that you love ’em. Tell them, ‘If you need anything, come to me.’ ‘If you need somebody to talk to, come to me.’ ‘I’ll give you the shoulder, I’ll give you the hug. I’ll feed you, I’ll clothe you if you need it. That’s how you start from this moment. When you leave this reunion today, you take that with you.”
In an age of social media, we all would be prudent to take this advice to heart. When was the last time we offered help and really meant it? Clicking “like” on Facebook does NOT count because it is lazy and requires zero from us. Relationships are like living plants; they need attention and time.
Reflect on your circle of friends and family members. Do they know you are there for them…thick and thin? Smooth sailing or tsunamis? Good health or illness? I think many of us are guilty of just assuming they know—like the picture of the farming couple with pitchforks. The husband hasn’t told his wife he loves her in 50 years. “If I change my mind, I’ll let her know.” Let’s not let anyone feel alone, isolated, or unsupported. If you care, reach out!
The other point I gleamed from Grandma’s message was she expected more of her offspring, not less. When did we become a society of celebrating mediocrity? In fear of upsetting someone, we don’t want to overachieve. Really? We will all benefit from raising the bar not only for ourselves but for each other. Since we live in a country full of abundance, I believe this Bible quote rings true: “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required,” (Luke 12:48)
Looking to impart some great insights in your children? Get a copy of my booklet Manners Still Matter. It’s full of reminders of how to live out the golden rule.