Sunday, October 14, 2012

Healthy Optimism


A cover of "Call Me Maybe" performed by U.S. Army Infantry Soldiers in Kunar Province, Afghanistan. Original by Carly Rae Jepsen. Directed, filmed, and edited by the troops as a morale boost for Soldiers in Afghanistan as well as their families/FRG back home. 

♫♪


Healthy optimism is the belief that one is capable of attaining the high standards they set for themselves. Without an optimistic drive, these soldiers would not have invested the time to create this music video. There's no great art expressed in this video, no great singing, and no drive to solve the conflict in the Middle East. What is expressed in this video is amusement, acceptance, and hope that each soldier in this video will return home where they'll once again have the opportunity to laugh about their music video (as well as their experiences) with their friends and family members who are supporting them back home. In return, the friends and family members of the soldiers who made this video have something to bemuse themselves until they can, in person, laugh and pat these soldiers on the back, both for their lighthearted creativity [under extreme pressure and threat of danger], and for their service, patriotism, and expanding worldview. 

♫♪

This video is proof that American soldiers in Afghanistan are learning more than military tactics. These experiences are affecting their ideas about the expectations, goals, and hopes of others, causing them to examine those aspects, and act in a way that inspires hope as well as a sense of commonality. In the making of this video, humor brought these soldiers back into full-focus, despite the landscape that presently divides them from their friends, their family members, and society as a whole. 

♫♪

Creating a video like this involves a high level of intrinsic motivation, empathy for others' concerns, and the ability to create, through humor, creativity, and coordination a sense of harmony where before concern, doubt and fear took center stage. These soldiers are currently fighting a battle that cannot be won. Living under such conditions distorts the mirror of self-existence. Where self-depreciation would naturally develop, these soldiers instead have taken the higher road to becoming one's highest self, an arduous journey that is taking them to unfamiliar and dangerous territory in the name of [fill in blank]. Maintaining a sense of humor and sense of community under these conditions is commendable. Having a sense of humor after being "under fire" is morale-boosting, something imperative to conducting a successful military operation. 

♫♪

Imagine, if you will, two levels of reality. One where these soldiers encounter persecutors, victims, and rescuers. Bad guys, innocents, and heroes. There are winners and losers, survivors and those for whom we mourn.

♫♪

This music video represents a glimpse into the possibilities that these soldiers have set for themselves. Is it possible to be under threat and still be humorous?  The humor in this video comes from a place of integrity, empathy, wisdom, and harmony (and a solid defense system whereby they had the perceived freedom to create this video in the first place), which are all positive incentives for growth. The longing to become one's best self is evident in the playfulness of the video.

♫♪

These soliders had to pull from both of these realities within themselves to make us all laugh in a very profound way. The lighthearted, notably choreographed "dance routines" show us the dedication and teamwork that obviously went into making this video. It is no doubt this dedication and teamwork that have kept these soldiers (as well as other innocent people) alive throughout this conflict.

♫♪

We're reminded of this reality when we watch the video, despite the song they choose. Few men (and even fewer soldiers of war) would gravitate toward this type of lighthearted "chic" song, but knowing that their sisters, mothers, girlfriends, and wives at home might is an indication of purposeful collaboration on behalf of the soldiers who participated. They simply used humor (parody and incongruity) as their communication device. 

♫♪

It is quite painful to know that the world of infinite possibilities is still plagued by low-level (territory, resources, and power) conflict struggles, but at the same time, it's nice to know that there is a higher reality that exists and that no matter where people are, no matter under which circumstances they find themselves, this higher reality is still something worth fighting for. Sometimes we fight not with weapons, but with the essence that defines our humanity - hope. 

♫♪

I hope that every one of these soldiers is soon reunited with their friends and loved ones and that they can continue to pull forth from themselves (for the betterment of everyone in society) the higher possibilities that transformed a homemade music video into a new image that is as powerful as the destructive ones the world witnessed on 9/11. 

♫♪




"Laughter doesn't make us forget,
laughter helps us to find our way home."
~Sophy Laughing










Post a Comment