“Auggie can’t change how he looks. Maybe we should change how we see.” ? A line from the movie “Wonder (2017).” Auggie is a 10-year-old boy who is desperate to blend in, but is destined to stand out due to a birth defect. On the first day of school, his mother prayed, “Dear God, please let them be nice to him.” However, considering the immaturity of most elementary school kids, that would not be the case. As expected, Auggie’s classmates were rude to him and made fun of his appearance. He got discouraged and jumped to the conclusion that nobody would like to be friends with him. As the movie unfolds, however, Auggie comes to have the courage to accept the facts that are unchangeable.
Instead of trying to disregard or deny the existing facts, whether they are related to one’s appearance or personality, the best thing we can do is to be kind in the face of those immutable facts. According to theologian Paul Tillich, the ultimate form of all kinds of courage is the capacity to accept self-existence as it is. We all have our vulnerable spots that make us feel shame when they are exposed. Auggie revealed his weakness, which was the way he looked, and accepted the facts. Kids teased him about the size of his head, but Auggie said, “Sometimes I think my head is so big because it is so full of dreams.”
Courage is not about changing oneself into something else to get away from vulnerability, but admitting the weakness as “facts” and showing others those facts as a part of oneself. Someone might wonder, “Does the world really exist, where I can be loved even if I’m imperfect and lousy?” At least this film has shown that there could be such a reality, though it is a figment of imagination.
The majority of people these days try hard to take good care of their external and internal beauty. I wish that people would bear in mind that everyone is beautiful; it is a question of whether you face yourself properly. Besides beauty, many other things are significant. There is a line in the movie that goes, “Courage. Kindness. Friendship. Character. These are the qualities that define us as human beings, and propel us, on occasion, to greatness.” Once we have courage and are kind to ourselves and other beings, we will end up forming good friendships and character; we will become better people.