Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

I just had a new insight re: “Groundhog Day”

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I just watched a clip of Groundhog Day and saw something I had not realized. What triggered the transformation of Phil (the Bill Murray character) was that he got to know — really got to know — the people around him, the sort of knowledge and understanding that implies he spent hours of talking with them and listening — really listening — to them. Those people were to him no longer ciphers or strangers or simple transactional relationship, but rather people he now understood: they have depth and experiences and lives and dreams and regrets of their own. He obviously had stopped thinking only of himself and looking at others only as they affected him, but had grown in understanding and compassion. The connections he made with them are what transformed him. I had not seen that before.

Here’s the clip:

Just yesterday I read that the single most important factor in a long and happy life is having a variety of close and strong relationships — more important than genetics, more important than money, more important than any other single thing.

And in thinking more about it,  I realized that the things Phil knew about those people, from previous conversations, could come only from listening to them and not judging them, just getting to know them. And once you know and understand other people (as individuals), you generally will have good feelings toward them because you understand why they do what they do — that takes the judgment out of the equation, in a way. To understand is to forgive, because when you understand you see the mechanisms that drive the behavior.

Written by Leisureguy

2 July 2021 at 3:42 pm

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