Posted in Movies

Erin Brockovich – The Path of Sacrifice

All that is good, one day creates evil. All that is evil, one day creates good.
The light of the sun that warms in the day, becomes scorching at night.

The trouble arises when we refuse to acknowledge the presence of both. That is we close our eyes to the evil when something is good and refuse the good that evil can potentially create.

It is the eternal human fallacy of fearing change. We want the good to be always good and the bad to be always bad. And it is this which is the root cause of so many troubles of the world. This inability to acknowledge transformations is the probable cause.

It is the job of the pioneers of society to take up the responsibility of recognising good and evil. So when the society falters in an abysmal confusion of what is wrong and what is right, they can light the way.

Both the men of art and science, faith and reason, passion and pragmatism make for pioneers. They are engineers, poets, scientists, chaplains, lawyers, teachers – any person that has the capability to acknowledge transformation is a pioneer. They are gifted with a burden of bringing truth to the misguided world.

Professions do not make pioneers, it is the person behind the tag of a profession who becomes the pioneer. And sometimes, a person without the tag of a profession may also become a pioneer. As we see in the story of Erin Brockovich.

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She is not even a college graduate, was an ex-beauty queen and a single mother of three kids. Yet she was capable of recognising when things transform.

She could recognise when her marriages were no longer serving her to grow as a person. She also recognised when the many citizens of Hinkley were being slowly poisoned with lies of a Chemical Corporation, that was meant to serve them.

And what did she do when she recognised the good of life turning evil? She fought back and chose to bring change. She did all she could to bring about the change, realising her potential as a lawyer’s assistant with a singular ‘lawyer-like’ virtue of being good with people.   eb4

We have seen many stories of men and women standing against institutions that turn against the very purpose they were concocted for – service to society. They stand up against the evil created by these once virtuous and great institutions. Thus becoming leaders, pioneers, torches guiding the society out of its abysmal confusion of what is right and what is wrong.

These leaders then have to step out of their individual selves, let go of all their previous identities and become obsessed with the cause. Dedicate themselves to being those pioneers, torches of light that burning themselves to light up the way for others.  It is a sacrifice of their identities, that they associate to their egoistic ephemeral selves.

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Like Erin, who had to let go of her self-identity of being just another single mother to becoming the mother force of justice for a thousand people. She had to sacrifice, like all the other pioneers very often have to, personally. The time with her kids, love life, social life, self-identity were all sacrificed slowly, every day. But it was necessary and one day she knew they would not matter as much, even if they seemed important at the moment.

Yes, she began her journey as a Path of Bliss, following her childhood dream of leaving a mark on the society, of being respected and valued. But this path led her to the Path of Sacrifice as well. And it was because she could make even this transformation, that both the Bliss and Sacrifice found salvation.

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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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