Monday, April 11, 2011


We all need heroes. Humanity has made heroes out of some of the least likely candidates. When a person is converted into a hero in society’s collective memory, the individual is elevated to the highest places. Children’s books are written about them, statements they supposedly uttered are logged into online quote sites. Something about having heroes helps us live better, work toward goals, and care a whole lot more about each other.

But, the truth about heroes is that they are heroes because they struggled. They are heroes because of adversity. The overcoming adversity part is the part we remember, the part society celebrates. We sort of skip over the excruciating pain part. All kids dream about becoming heroes, because of the glory involved, not because of the pain that precedes victory. As an adult, I understand the pain involved in hero making and my first instinct is to run from it. To run far, far away.

The other night, the three kids and the husband and I went to see the Bethany Hamilton memoir “Soul Surfer.” We all knew the basic story (Duzi was briefed on the way to the movie and escorted to the concession stand by Dad during the shark attack scene) and our family absolutely loves the island of Kauai, where the story takes place. We had all read Bethany’s memoir, “Soul Surfer” several years ago and knew that Bethany survived having her arm bitten off by a shark while surfing. We knew that she ascribed her survival and subsequent recovery (including a career in professional surfing) to her relationship with God.

So, we were very excited to see the motion picture version. Here’s the Howerton review:

The story is powerful. The acting was mediocre. The raw emotion of the story came through in spite of some less than stellar acting moments. My children came away utterly inspired by the courage and tenacity of Bethany Hamilton. That said, we’d see it again in a heartbeat. I can’t think of many movies these days that authentically inspire. Even with the poor acting and a touch of lame special effects, we loved it.

I do think, though, that Bethany herself is even more inspiring than the movie rendition of her. I came across this video of the real lady and I sort of wished the movie had been a documentary. Bethany sounds like a surfer because well, she is one. A really good one.


Oh, and if a movie is ever made about me, I’d really like Dennis Quaid and Helen Hunt to play my parents.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for pointing out the importance of struggle. I've been pondering my favorite movies lately, and the common thread is that the main characters overcome adversity. Love that stuff.

    Keep writing, I'll keep reading.


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