I have recently watched Wanted starring Angelina Jolie and James McAvoy. I know I’m a late bloomer for raving about a movie released in June 2008 and that everyone except perhaps me, had already watched but I’m really late when it comes to movies and it’s not so much the plot or the cast or even the effects that struck me about the film. It was the way Angelina stood up for her cause.
When Angelina learned that the Fraternity to which she had dedicated her life had determined she must die, it didn’t matter to her that Sloan (Morgan Freeman) had to tweak the fabric to prevent her death. She accepted it whole-heartedly. She actually killed all the other Fraternity members without second thought, having learned that their death were predicted by the fabric and decided to also end her life along with them. She stood up for her cause right to the end, even when it may seem irrational to us all. I mean for an assassin who controls the time of the death of others, why not control your own death as well? But the Fraternity gave no room for control. She believed whole-heartedly and unerringly that the fabric is real and that its predictions are to be carried out to the letter even when it demands her own life.
Now this may all just be fantasy to us, but this deep dedication to a cause happens in real life. We’ve heard of Islamic terrorists who would kill themselves for the sake of their missions. They do so willingly, believing that what they are fighting for is true and that they will be rewarded in the afterlife for their bravery. Even in the course of history, we’ve known men and women who died because of their beliefs and their causes, which they kept firm even in the imminent threat of danger. The oldest book in the world, the Bible, tells us of Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego, the three Jews who became some of Babylon’s wisest men but refused to bow down to King Nebuchadnezzar since their faith dictates that they bow down only to the one true God. And we also know of Mahatma Gandhi who was assassinated because of his belief in non-violence, the basic principle which guided his resistance to the tyranny in India eventually leading to the country’s independence. And then there are our local heroes like Ninoy Aquino who was assassinated for his conviction to restore the Philippine government into the democracy she so rightfully deserves .
Some may say that it is foolishness to be completely dedicated or devoted to something to the point of dying for it. Some would argue that there is nothing worth dying for in these present times and we should all simply be rational and pragmatic in living our lives. Some would say that only the fanatics or mentally disillusioned stick for something that could place them in mortal peril.
Do we mean to say then that the insurgents of this country like the NPA and the Abu Sayaf are all leading empty and useless lives? That the Al-Qaeda terrorists are a bunch of nutcracks? Hmm… I must answer carefully; I may be shot after the next statement. But seriously, we only consider a person a nutcase if the cause he is fighting for sounds absurd to us. If we were on the same side as they are, and we understood their predicament, then most probably we would agree and even support their causes. To the point of death? Only you can determine that.
Indeed life lived for a cause is a fulfilling life, whether or not we get to die for that cause. The important fact is that we dedicate our entire being to that cause. My life has a cause worth living and dying for – it’s just that right now I am not so utterly attune with it. But at least I have a cause. What about you? Do you have a cause worth dying for?