Posted in Movies

Erin Brockovich – The Path of Bliss

There are so many things that stories can teach us, remind us, about ourselves. From dreams to struggles to defeats to victories – however small or big – stories hold the power to touch onto one key on the piano of your life that is in perfect harmony with your melody.

When we see our heroes fighting their wars and struggling to see their dreams come true, sometimes fighting the world and at other times overcoming their own limitations – we join them in their odysseys. This is what makes art worthwhile, this is what makes existence worthwhile. It is essentially why we tell stories and paint and dance and sing – to celebrate this syncing, this harmony of melodies.

Here is a story that will remind you of one of the most important aspects of the hero’s life – an invisible hand of help when you are set on your path of bliss!

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It is the story of Erin, a small town girl both blessed and cursed with her beauty. She wants to do a lot of things in life, she wants to be respected for all that she does, leave a mark on the world, be a hero.

So when she wins the title of being the most beautiful woman in her town, she goes brimming with dreams of all that she would do with her wonderful life. Her beauty is her greatest strength. People like her, they want to talk to her, admire her and compliment her qualities. She is enjoying all that, it is her bliss – to be seen and seen with respect.

One of those admirers asks her hand in marriage one day. Love, another bliss of her life, stands at her doorstep. She rushes to welcome it in as well. She wants to be seen and loved for what she is. She wants to be loved like she is the most beautiful thing to her man, inside out.

Everything is just perfect. Except it is not.

Unfortunately, both the kinds of bliss she beholds do not go well in the world she is born in. She cannot have the bliss of being a wife and a leader. She must choose one and she must only choose the former.

But she refuses to yield. She refuses to have only one of them. And ends up losing both.

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Life reaches its nadir when she is jobless, almost homeless, raising three kids alone and having two failed marriages to her name.

And then, something happens. Something that forces us to believe that when we truly set out on the path of our bliss, our complete bliss, we find a path that was set out for us and only us. A path where even crisis was a blessing, but in disguise.

Mildly dosed by nicotine but still following the traffic signals right, she is hit by a racing car in broad daylight. She decides to file a lawsuit against the driver and hope to get some money as compensation. She meets a private lawyer and that is where the Hero’s journey has begun.

The Hero mythology has a plethora of stories wherein the main protagonist saves the world. And it all begins the day the Hero steps out of his comfort zone to explore an unknown abyss. He may do so knowing the greatness of the cause he must work for or he may just be lured into an adventurous ride. The lure is almost always a thing of desire rooted deep within the hero. Even though the events may seem to be of chance, the hero responds because of these innate desires. According to Joseph Campbell, these are like ripples on the surface of a lake created by a water spring deep within it.

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A series of events unfold before Erin and she goes on to make the choices purely off of her bliss-compass. She grabs the job, follows the queer medical reports, fights her boss and a $28 billion corporation with him, gives love a second chance, risks her life for the cause she discovers and in between all this finds Truth of who she really is.

The years she spent on raising her kids, the prime years of her youth, which may seem like a fall back to her story, turn out to be just the opposite. It is in those years that her curse of beauty reverts itself to becoming her biggest strength. She reaches an age where she realises the hypocritical society that favours long legs over big ambitions or deep necks or deep thoughts for a woman. She also learns the value of true love that she spends with her three kids and what is the importance of being accepted and loved for who she really is. Having a community of people, even if toddlers, who love her for the love she gives and that’s all.

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This dichotomy of beauty becomes her strength when she has to go forth on her path of leading thousands of ignorant, innocent people. The people she sees herself in. People with kids like hers. People being lied to and deceived into a chemical pogrom!

She finds her community in those people. She finds her people. She finds hearts that love her back for the love she gives them. She also finds people who only consider her love worthy of the length of an orgasm. But this time, she does not let them crown her a beauty queen. She beats them at their own business. She uses their weak prejudices for her beauty against them, to fight for a cause.

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And she finds her bliss in between the difficult waters. She finds the raw love and respect for her abilities. She finds true love in family and in a man who finally takes her for who she is. She finds her bliss.

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Erin Brockovich and her firm alleged that residents of Hinkley were suffering higher rates of cancer due to pollutants used to fight corrosion in a natural gas pipeline built by PG&E. At $333 million, the 1996 settlement won by Brockovich and her team was the largest sum ever awarded in a U.S. class-action lawsuit. Her story was adapted as a motion picture in the year 2000, winning the Academy Award for Julia Roberts who played Erin in the movie.

 

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