Your Life Is Not A Movie
"Scream" and a dangerous way of seeing the world
Happy Halloween, my friends! Today as the world celebrates the spooky season with trick-or-treating, costumes, and a late night out, I want you to think about something from my favorite scary movie: Scream (1996).
Billy Loomis thinks of life as a movie. He’s the bad-boy boyfriend of Sydney Prescott. Frequently throughout Scream, Billy talks about how life is “just one great big movie,” something Sydney dismisses whenever she hears it. Billy always insists. We’re all in our own feature film, only “you don’t get to pick your genre.” Billy is obsessed. He’s determined to have his life be a movie…and to cast everyone around him as characters in it.
We all do this though, it’s not just Billy Loomis. We experience life in first-person every day. The people we encounter so often feel like characters that pass in and out of scenes. There are primary supporting characters, our loved ones, colleagues, and some folks in your town. Then there are extras, the NPCs, the background characters who you observe in their cars in traffic, or standing in line at the coffee shop.
This Is The Way is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
It’s easy to get so self-absorbed that we think of background characters as unimportant. They become obstacles in our way. Quite literally when traffic on the highway gets bad. Psychologists say we think this way, of ourselves as main character protagonists because so much in life is out of our control. Things happen to us. We don’t write the story of how a day goes. It can often feel like we’re living someone else’s script. Like we don’t have control.
This is dangerous. Life is not a movie.
Billy Loomis decides that if life is a movie, he wants his to be a Horror flick. And if you’re gonna be in a Horror movie, Billy is happy to play the villain, the killer. He and his partner in crime commit a string of horrific killings, and he feels nothing about it.
After all, these are just background characters. Supporting roles in his bloody blockbuster. They don’t matter.
Remember as you go about life today that the people around you in traffic, at Starbucks, at work, passing by on the street….they see life in first-person too. To them, you’re nobody.
Treat others like you’d like to be treated, as someone whose life, whose dreams, and hopes, matter.
No one is a background character, and no one is the star.
This is the way.
Happy Halloween from the Kent family!
ICYMI we have a new episode of the Walk The Way podcast now streaming