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Values at the Golden Globe Awards

January 21, 2011

Values at the Golden Globe Awards:

I’m not much of a TV watcher. In fact, it is more often than not that someone mentions a television show to me and I look at them quizzically, never having seen it. I don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but it is so.

Not so, however, regarding movies. Since I was a little girl my mother let me stay up late to watch the Academy Awards. What good is watching the awards, however, if you haven’t seen the movies they are recognizing? Growing up in New York, having a sensibility about film was easy. In fact, my high school English teacher from my junior year, Mrs. Tinkhauser, required that we read the Arts and Leisure Section of the Sunday New York Times each week, for a quiz Monday mornings. She took our class to my first Fellini film. She got us on the bus from Long Island to Manhattan to see “Amarcord.” And followed that up with “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” an all-time favorite of mine. So regardless of how much television-avoiding I do, I will always go out of my way to make sure I catch the Oscars. In the past couple of years, with encouragement from my daughter, I have added to that the Golden Globe Awards.

While it’s great to see movies recognized, what I find most powerful about these evenings – what I wait for – are those moments when we go beyond the gilt and glitter and get to real values. This year’s Golden Globes had two such outstanding moments: when Chris Colfer, recognized for his supporting actor role in TV’s hot show “Glee,” spoke about being openly gay, saying to all who are “told ‘No’ by the people and environments, the bullies at school, that they can’t be who they are or can’t have what they want because of who they are,” to simply “screw that, kids.” Colfer not only stood up for gay rights, but for all kids to be who they are despite bullying. His message can be extended to all individuals who think or behave differently, helping us to stand up against those who might judge or taunt us when we go against the tide.

Another moment, one that brought tears to my eyes, involved Claire Danes and Temple Grandin. Ms. Danes won the award for best actress in a mini-series or TV movie, for her role playing Temple, an autistic woman who changed for good the meat slaughtering process in our country. Ms. Danes offered said that Temple “is still acting with incredible zeal and devotion to illuminate mysteries about autism and animal behavior,” and acknowledged her directly, for the “millions of lives that have been dignified and improved by your genius.” Seeing Temple Grandin in the room, standing and waving to the guests, a rich smile on her face, was such a gift for me. Too many times we overlook those whose needs or ways of processing are different from ours. Too often they are not just pushed into the crowd, but are stamped down to the bottom. And there Temple Grandin stood, as proud and tall as could be. It spoke to the humanness in all of us, pointing out the good that we are all capable of if we choose to act from our hearts.

Here’s a shout out to those in our entertainment industry who, through their work, stand up for human values and for bettering our world.

I wonder what values lessons I will learn at this year’s Oscars.

Note: On the Find Fulfill Flourish website is a free “Guiding Values Exercise.” It’s an engaging way of identifying your most important values. Take the time to do the exercise and then share your thoughts with us.

Robin Damsky

Visit our new website: Take the FREE Guiding Values Exercise. Give us feedback.

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