twitter facebook stumble upon rss

Life Lessons from 'Precious'

sign up for the momlogic newsletter Tweet This

This is a movie that truly has changed the way that I look at life and its challenges.

Calvin Lowery: Before you embark upon this holiday season (or the rest of your life), do yourself and those around a favor and watch "Precious."

precious mo'nique

I must disagree with People Magazine Daily's subpar review of this movie and the unsubstantiated claim that the characters did not connect with the audience. If you watch/watched this movie and did not feel a connection with the characters, then you must be a member of the 0 percent of the population that has never faced adversity, never been helped by anyone, or never helped another.

Furthermore, the debate that is objectively reported on by the New York Times' Felicia R. Lee in "To Blacks, Precious Is 'Demeaned' or 'Angelic'" is a great example of the issue facing positive African-American efforts today. To look at a literary or entertainment piece and to reduce it to nothing more than a stereotype is disrespectful. This is not a YouTube clip, this is a movie with a message, and that message is not that "all black people are poor, on drugs and flunking out of school."

In Lee's article, Armond White is quoted as saying, "[N]ot since 'The Birth of a Nation' has a mainstream movie demeaned the idea of black American life as much as 'Precious.'" Lee's criticism of the movie is not only false, but also inaccurate. When was the last time that someone said, "Since all white people in 'Grey's Anatomy' sleep around, all white people sleep around"?

There are too many African-American figures on television, in the media, in sports, and in government for the age-old argument that these types of movies perpetuate black stereotypes. Honestly, we have a diversity of figures from Oprah Winfrey to Barack Obama to Lebron James. If Ms. Lee actually wants to know what is setting African-American progress backwards, it's not movies like "Precious," it is the countless number of ignorant individuals that are walking around not tackling issues like "Precious," or her teacher -- but refusing to help and consistently criticizing those who do.

More importantly, "Precious" encourages three lessons that we all need to remember: (1) how fortunate you are, and what is important this holiday season; (2) the impact you can have on another person (good/bad); and (3) why you should never give up. If you have seen the movie, you will understand why these lessons are relevant, and if you have not seen the movie -- GO SEE IT!

Lesson #1: See how fortunate you are -- and what is really important this holiday season?

There are times when I find myself or someone around me complaining about circumstances that others would love to complain about (a mentor I have calls these "high society issues"). For example, how many times have you heard someone complain about getting up in the morning and being forced to go to work? At a time when unemployment is at a nauseating high, you have to be kidding me.

In the movie, you watch anxiously as you see issue after issue hit Precious in the face -- issues that many of us never have and never will face. But, this young lady's story does not end with what happened to her, it ends with what she tried to do about it.

Lesson #2: The impact you can have on another (good/bad).

Precious demonstrates the impact that positive and negative people can have on someone else's situation. You can be responsible for contributing to another person's success or failure. Supporting characters (parents, educators, social workers, and health professionals) in this movie show that their dealings with Precious either assist or hinder Precious's attempts to overcome her issues. Some of the issues that a young Precious must face are even thrown upon her by the supporting characters -- who are supposed to care.

This behavior is consistent with our own situations. Many times we have the opportunity to assist someone, but we choose to hinder their progress as opposed to help in their success. After watching this movie, I realized that you never know what someone is going through, and I should do all that I can to provide a helping hand, when I can.

Lesson #3: Why you never give up ...

This movie reminds me of every come-from-behind win and every underdog success. Precious represents the individual in a situation that never had a chance, but shows that you do not have to accept what life deals you as your fate. With all-time highs for STDs, teen pregnancy, incarceration rates, high school dropout rates, unemployment, divorce, and crime, a movie that demonstrates you can accomplish anything is a much-welcomed change.

When you sit in the theater and watch this young lady encounter the most difficult and controversial issues imaginable, you sit there and reflect and ultimately decide that you must push on with whatever issues you are facing in your life.

The issues faced and whether Precious overcomes this adversity is intentionally kept out of this discussion. If you have seen the movie, let me know what you think, and if you haven't -- GO SEE IT.

It will be sad to see Oprah leave her talk show. But, if this departure means that I can expect more movies like this, then I am very excited about the next chapter of her life.

Despite what "the haters" say, this movie will change the way you look at life and life's challenges.

next: Tom Knows Baby's Gender, Gisele Doesn't
43 comments so far | Post a comment now
EVB December 3, 2009, 6:53 PM

Loved your comments on the movie Precious. Couldn’t agree with you more!

gbmonkey December 3, 2009, 8:50 PM

Cant wait to see it!

Anonymous December 4, 2009, 10:04 AM

That sweater is ready to burst!

Anonymous December 4, 2009, 6:01 PM

She’s a big mama jama

DoNotWantKidsYet December 5, 2009, 8:32 PM

I wanted to go see the movie but I thought it would be depressing.I might go see it though.

Barb December 7, 2009, 11:35 AM

This movie is hard to watch. I cringed during any interactions with Precious’ mother. But, oh, it sure made me see how lucky I’ve been in life.

we r all "precious" in hz sight December 13, 2009, 7:25 PM

Lots of life lessons yes but very choppy with the flashes of her having a modeling life as a escape of reality& also very choppy esp. the end unless u have an explanation it may not have ended the way i would have liked but still no gr8 ending also do u think Mo should rcv an Oscar!?!?

Heather January 11, 2010, 8:21 AM

Thanks for the straightforward and spirited commentary, Calvin. I was on the fence about whether to see Precious but now I’m going!

VargasSuzanne August 10, 2010, 5:39 PM

I opine that to receive the home loans from creditors you should present a firm reason. Nevertheless, once I have received a small business loan, because I was willing to buy a house.

Doofedaregolo August 22, 2010, 12:59 AM

I enjoyed reading your blog. Keep it that way.

free microsoft word November 23, 2010, 1:51 AM

nice work indeed. Subscribing to your feeds

classic garage tunes November 24, 2010, 8:50 PM

Thanks much for the great document. I am glad I’ve taken the time to learn this.

Clothes For Baby November 26, 2010, 1:02 PM

Credit for the great blog post. I am glad I have taken the time to read this.

Vernie Haer December 4, 2010, 2:31 AM

Thanks much for the great document. I am glad I’ve taken the time to learn this.

Ethyl Malocha December 4, 2010, 9:44 AM

Kudos for the great piece of writing. I am glad I have taken the time to read this.

Candis Majid December 4, 2010, 11:56 PM

Kudos for the great article. I am glad I have taken the time to learn this.

Chiropractic Marketing December 6, 2010, 5:06 AM

Appreciation for the great blog post. I am glad I have taken the time to learn this.

bama-belles December 6, 2010, 7:04 AM

Give a dog a bad name and hang him

BamaBelles December 6, 2010, 7:07 PM

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step

diet tea green December 11, 2010, 9:48 PM

here sites rock!

Back to top >>