Growing up, I remember watching “Boy Meets World” Often. A show where the main idea was a young boy growing up in the ever-changing world that is our reality. He went on to develop a friendship with their neighbor who was also his teacher in school. Mr Feeny?
This ever-growing relationship impacted Cory. The lessons, and ideals that Mr. Feeny threw at Cory in and outside of school gave him a deeper meaning.
Let’s fast forward to today. My first-born watches “Girl Meets World.” Naturally, since I grew up vicariously alongside Cory and Topanga, of course I’m going to pull up a chair and watch the spin-off show with my kids.
In this new spin-off show, the idea is similar…. Only… as I took small meaningful moments from my past with my father, the idea has now evolved.
Before I go into my reflections, I’m going to breakdown the summary of the particular episode that got me thinking.
“The sun shines during the day.”
This statement…. What does it make you ponder?
The main character, Riley stands before her classroom during a debate against her pal Farkle. Riley loses this debate because her only defense is that it’s daytime and the sun shines.
Riley gets upset because of her loss, and Cory has them switch sides. With a hard-hitting stating,
“You cannot walk along in life without first considering the other side to an argument.”
He creates a new assignment. The innocent and naive teen, is now assigned to argue and prove people are evil, while Farkle argues they are good. Let’s fast forward a bit. As Riley sits in her bay window with her best friend Maya… Maya opens up the laptop showing Riley an image of a shaven animal. Riley has a freak out moment because of a sweater she is wearing, and then her little brother walks in. Maya shows Riley a local news article about a littered beach and per her assignment Riley chooses to NOT care. (Ouch! That kinda hurts her) Only, her little brother stomps right down to Topanga stating he wants to go clean the beach at 4am with her.
Back to Riley and Maya:
They are now talking about headlines, and acknowledging that’s something Riley never paid attention to before. Maya shows her current events around the world, and after a few reflective yet painful moments Riley asked, “Where is this?” Maya then states with a grave tone,
“This is our world.”
Riley scrunched her nose and let despair sink in. While watching that reaction sink into my daughters mind and heart, I can’t deny it hit me like a bag of rocks.
The thing is….
Today, we live in a world where bad things happen. People attack each other, discriminate against one another, there is poverty, climate change, war, anger, hatred, greed, and much more.
“Where there is abundance, we lose site of the value. It is vital to remember the importance and value of the one thing.” #stuffraresays
This show is full of deeper meanings.
Riley converts into acting out in negative behaviors. She begins stressing out her friends because their bright-eyed, ever positive, passionate believer in hope was throwing out ALL hope. Why? Because she’s seen things now. (Her words)
Her best friend Maya, heads to the bedroom door in hopes of making an example of it. She told Riley that she needed to go back to her real self. Riley asked why? Maya softly opens the door, backed away and watched it open fully.
Even the slightest crack leaves the door wide open. That makes it easier to do the next bad thing.
The slightest little crack whether it be good or bad, leaves the door wide open. Whether you make good or bad choices each side grows infinite.” #stuffraresays
Riley then drops a bomb on Maya by stating, she’s already done the next bad thing by not giving Two shoes Lewie a dollar. (A homeless man she’d grown accustomed to giving one dollar to every day.) This particular day he asked for two., only now Riley questioned if it was all just really a scam.
At the cut scene:
Cory finds Riley in the kitchen. Sitting down, he began his typical wise father talk with her. Her brother and Topanga walked in talking about the fun they’ve just had cleaning the beach, and how tired they are because they’ve been up since 4 am. Auggie feels productive because he feels as though he’s done a great thing. Naturally, anyone should feel like this. Yet, Riley is no longer bright-eyed and hopeful. In fact, she is quite disbelieving that he made any impact at all. He then gets upset and Topanga proceeds to tell a story to them about a boy who saw thousands of star fish washed up on a beach, he picks one star fish up and throws it back into the ocean, and a man approached him saying there are too many star fish for you to save what makes YOU think you can make any difference at all, and the little boy replies, “I made one to that one.”
That story left Riley pondering.
“One small ripple can create waves.” #stuffraresays
The next day…….
Good versus evil. Lucas blurts out, “We miss Riley.”
Cory looks at him in minor disapproval and asks, “That’s your opening statement?”
Farkle says, “Yes and its genius.”
Smackle: Because the change in Riley’s behavior has changed the world we live in.
Farkle: And if we didn’t see that change it would mean we didn’t possess the natural goodness in ourselves that we could then recognize in others.
Riley’s argument is as follows: People are evil because, poverty, climate change and war are a problem every day. We know about it, we tolerate it, and we have not changed it.
…………………………. Wait for it!
Cory: So Riley are people good or evil?
If the world creates opportunities for us to do something good or evil every day, and that world is full of poverty, hunger, and war then doesn’t the state of the world answer the question?
Wipe the sweat off your forehead………..
Doesn’t it prove the world is evil? She pursues.
Cory ponders for a moment and says, “You win Riley.” She replies, “That’s it…I won. The world is evil.” With tears in her eyes she stares at her father. Only he replies with, “Well… let’s find out. Switch sides.”
Her smiles comes back. Riley’s demeanor perks up and her bright eyes reappear.
“This is a world where children wake up at 4 in the morning to save star fish because something in them knows it’s the right thing to do. Why do we lose that? Where does that go?”
A pause overshadows the room. Then she continues….
“We are born with the choice of good or evil inside of us and as much fun as it was yesterday to do something bad, now it’s today and I know that doing bad things isn’t fun at all.”
Cory then replies, “There are two voices in us. Both sides know how to present their point.”
Maya then asks, “Which voice wins?”
Cory: “That is the only debate that matters.” After a momentary pause he says, “There is good and there is evil. I’ve found that if you choose good, the world is more than willing to help you out.
Finally Zay speaks up about the cookie Riley stole from him. I would forgive you because I know the person that stole my cookie isn’t the person YOU are.
Riley: “Your right it was my bad conscience Sally Halter-top.”
“Yeah we all have that, but why did you listen to her.”
“Because I never had before.”
Cory: There are two sides, you consider both, and you decide who you are.
The episode caps off with Riley and Maya walking up to two shoes Lewie. Riley brought him spaghetti and hot dogs as a peace offering. He then gives her a heart to heart,
Bright eyes, I asked you for two dollars because I was only two away from getting those shoes. I wanted it to be you. But it wasn’t. Another man I didn’t even know, who didn’t even look at me gave it to me.
“But you’re still wearing your same old mismatched shoes.”
He reaches into his jacket pocket to pull out the two dollars, “Would you take these two dollars.”
She didn’t want to, but he pursued. He walked away saying, “Nice seeing you.”
After disappearing from their view, he pops up again. “Bright Eyes!! Do you have two dollars you can give me?”
Riley perks up and replies, “Well I believe I do.”
She hands him the money and he grabs it. His demeanor saddens and he says in a heartfelt tone, “I wanted it to be you.”
Maya says, “You’re a good man two shoes Lewie.”
He replies, “I’m trying every day.”
He then looks at Riley as if to non-verbally says “Because of you.”
The moral values in this episode quite frankly blew my mind.
It is in this mere episode that speaks volumes to its viewers. If we know bad things are happening, why aren’t we doing anything to change them?
My message: One small voice can change the world. Speak up.
Every day we are faced with choices. Those decisions we make determine who we are. At the bottom line, labels are JUST labels. NOTHING matters more than the character we carry.
Don’t let reality change you, because reality is only as powerful as you let it be. What kind of reality do you want to see?
Happy Inspirational Tuesday
View the companion piece on my YouTube channel