Sunday, August 2, 2015

Witness Me!

In Mad Max: Fury Road, the thirty-long-years awaited forth installment of George Miller's epic post-apocalyptic Mad Max movies, lies a shocking film of powerful feminism and the raw dehumanization of humanity packaged as a high-octane thrill ride. 

The cult followers and soldiers of the film's villain are known as the War Boys. At first glance, they are as expendable as the vehicles they drive, which in any Mad Max movie is pretty expendable. They believe their greatest sacrifice is to die for their leader. Over the course of the film, in the moments right before they commit to this sacrifice, they paint their mouths with chrome to be shiny and, in a frenzied vocalization of martyrdom, shout a battle cry of "Witness Me!"

Two words brutally brilliant in their complex simplicity.

On some level, we all want to be recognized. We all want to be remembered. We want our struggles not to go unnoticed and our sacrifices to matter.

Survivors know this battle cry in deeply private and often hidden ways. 

We don't want to be a burden or hurt those we love with our suffering. We don't want to be pigeon-holed by our illness or trauma. We don't want to make a fuss or rock a boat. We are not looking for accolades or special treatment. No one rationally wishes to be a martyr.

But, there is a powerful need to be noticed, a desire to not have our fight be forgotten or our pain ignored. We want to mean something and matter beyond the moment of our struggles. We want our damage not to define us, but empower us.

What we attempt to survive as human beings deserves a battle cry, a reminder to the world to take notice that we are here and are fighting. 

We all matter. Each battle we fight matters. Each brave breath should be remembered and recognized. We endure beyond our moments here on Earth.

We need to bear witness to each other, acknowledge our bravery and our uniquely, special worth. We need to shine.

Witness me, each and every day. One breath at a time.

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