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Monday, December 24, 2012

Some Lessons I Learned from 'Home Alone'

by aLfie vera mella

Watching Home Alone (1990) on DVD for the nth time, with my almost-four-year-old Evawwen.

Many people to this day think that the root cause of Kevin's having been left home alone was his stubbornness and his having answered back to his mother and some family members during the dinner on the night of the family's trip to Paris that caused his mom to let him spend the night at the attic, making them forget all about Kevin in the morning.

The fact is, the really bad guy in the film is Kevin's brother, Buzz, who kept on bullying his little brother and who provoked the fight between the two of them during the said dinner that turned into a mess, in which everyone turned their ire on poor Kevin (who was simply defending himself from Buzz's bullying) instead of calling the mischief of Buzz or, at least, assessing first the situation as to who did what before punishing Kevin.

When Kevin's mother asked him to spend the night at the attic, she said "I don't want to see you for the rest of the night!" To which Kevin responded with "I don't want to see you for the rest of my life!" This particular scene really broke my heart for Kevin. His mother's words were really hurtful to the heart of a young boy such as Kevin, and his mother didn’t even acknowledge Kevin’s remorse when he said “I’m sorry….”

If I learned some lessons from the film Home Alone, these include

1) Be careful with the words you say to your young children especially when you're in a fit of anger (Kevin's mom have uttered many hurtful words to Kevin and then had the temerity to get surprised when Kevin answered back with similar resentment);

2) Don't let an older kid of yours get away with bullying a little sister or brother; always play fair; always assess the situation and really recognize who is at fault (Buzz always bullied Kevin, and their parents seemed to let Buzz get away with all these; always picking on Kevin instead maybe just because Kevin was the younger one). Age or experience is not always an indication of maturity or wisdom;

3) Don't let relatives say bad words to your kids (The uncle who shouted "...little jerk..." to Kevin was really rude and immature. He was the same uncle who expressed a sarcastic lack of concern for Kevin when he made fun of Kevin's having been left home alone instead of comforting Kevin's mom. Bad uncle!)

At least, near the end of the film, Kevin's mom said sorry emphatically. That served as a resolution on the part of Kevin's mom.

However, I remain focused on the dinner on the eve of the trip: Most often, we could see the humanity of a person in a worse situation. I don't buy the excuse that we should easily forgive someone for his bad behavior because "he was simply in a stressful moment."

To me, the goodness or evilness in people is best observed not during happy moments but rather during bad situations. For instance, a person who decides to share his ration of food during a war is better than a person who gives to others only on Christmas.


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