The Movie Arrival is All About 2WK

Louise and Ian, a linguist and a scientist, are rushed by helicopter to the site of an alien arrival. Somehow they have to decode the alien communication system, or as Louise would say, have a conversation with them. The US Army, and indeed the world, wants to know ‘What is your purpose on Earth?’

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Louise wants to learn their language because it is the heart of how they think. The Army thinks that will take too long.

The whole movie is this kind of juxtaposition of linear and circular thinking. Louise is subjective. She constantly learns through her feelings. She experiences them fully, allows them to permeate her consciousness, and then awakens to the meaning they hold for her.

 

Ian is all about breaking things down into their base parts to find a logical reason for why they have assembled in the way that they have. He wants to know the operating principle that makes things predictable. And sometimes he finds it.

 

The armies of the world are all about linear power. They have ways to assert their will even against the will of others. The challenge is to determine where the line is. When is the danger significant enough for them to use major force?

Once an aggressive move is taken, they are geared up to use the advantage of time and take the first strike before there is retaliation. It is unimaginable that there is a love based world where no matter what your behaviour you are worthy of love. Love is offered not because you work hard or you’re family or even because you exist. Love is offered because it is the nature of the person offering.

The news reporters are looking for the elements of danger so they can report them. They are bound by a duty to report the facts and are held accountable by their peers. This keeps a degree of control over the development of fear. The problem is they report the fact in a fear inducing way and leave the viewer to fill in the emotional parts. The biggest problem with the army and the news and most of the men in the movie is that they have a one-world view. It’s actually ironic because they have evidence of another world right in front of them. It exists in the form of the aliens and in the radically different way that Louise sees the situation. They are always looking for evidence of danger. They never awaken to the possibility of love.

But the really scary part is the social media that spins an emotional frenzy of fear and leads to anarchy in the streets.

I don’t want to give any spoilers for this movie so I will say something that will only make sense after you have seen the movie. Consensus decision-making is not the power of a veto. Consensus decision-making is when a group of people decide they will leave no one behind. They will stay in the circular world of connection no matter what the disagreements between people. There is a build -n trust of group wisdom inherent to this standpoint. A trust in the process over productivity: together we will know what is the right thing to do. The answer exists somewhere in the overlap between our independent perspectives.

Finally, I think there is a brave assertion in this movie that men and women view the world differently. One of the best lines in the movie is at the end. I was reminded of the Cherokee Proverb that says ‘The job of a woman is to lead men to their souls. The job of men is to make women safe to walk the Earth.’

Oh, and before I go, I would give this movie two big thumbs up! It is definitely worth watching. Make sure you have time to discuss it afterwards. It is very thought provoking.

Immigration Through a Circular Lens

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It’s all over the news. Most of the conversations start and end with fear. Britain changed their relationship with the EU on the basis of this fear. Donald Trump is using this fear as the driving force behind his campaign. Countries all over Europe are struggling with conflict at the intersection of policy and humanitarian values.

Is it possible to see the story of immigrants and refugees through a different lens? What would the headlines be if we stopped pushing back in fear and started to embrace humanity? Could we see a shift in the real-life problems that we are currently afraid of? I’m interested to find out how using a circular approach to immigration could lessen the fear and actually create more peace.

Experts around the world have found terrorist organizations recruit from those who don’t feel they belong in their community. People are looking for a place where they will feel a part of something bigger than themselves. Countries are struggling with the fear that immigrants and refugees pose a threat to their citizens’ safety. Governments, who are responsible for this safety, are asking if they accept refugees are they opening their borders to an influx of terrorists.

How about making the shift to see immigrates as citizens instead of “migrants”? Canada has taken the view that immigrants and refugees are here on the path to become citizens, thus including them as one of their own. That is a unique perspective to take in a world where most governments have the migrant view of the “other” coming temporarily until they are able to go back home.

This migrant mentality is the barrier to inclusion and belonging. Indigenous cultures have a practice of welcoming strangers. Including strangers as a part of the community is imbedded in the Canadian culture and has made its way into policy. Circular thinking shows us we can value our differences for the betterment of the community. When people have a sense of community and belonging, they are less likely to be recruited by the same terrorists that created the fear. So, instead of pushing people out because of our fears, let’s pull them in thus eliminating the need to be fearful in the first place.

This shift in thinking is not an easy one. It isn’t one without risk. No one is saying a circular approach will result in zero crime and perfect societies. But living in fear breeds more fear. What we have now is creating more divisions and more problems in the world. How about trying a different way?

Written by:

Michelle Eades