“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if only one remembers to turn on the light.” -J.K. Rowling
After a week of changed lives and opened eyes, it’s natural to feel down, drained, anxious, or even depressed. I remember feeling this way after September 11, watching war coverage on TV for weeks straight, Columbine (I was in high school when that happened), and Sandy Hook. And now I feel that way about Ferguson.
We talk a lot about tragedies and tension.
But how do we cope?
Geeky media such as sci-fi, fantasy, comic books, and more offer inspiration when it comes to finding hope and moving forward. During personal, national, and intergalactic tragedies, our favorite characters know what to say and do. They provide strength and inspiration to move forward.
I asked my friends for their opinions on the issue and here’s what they said:
“I have a hard time crying, so a lot of times if I’m in the mood to have a good sob I’ll watch Steel Magnolias. It’s a movie that shows that bad things happen, but it’s a part of life and as long as you’ve got friends around you, it’s possible to carry on through tragedy. Plus the cast is out of this world good, and I really want to be Shirley MacLaine when I grow up.” -Shannon R.
“Whenever I feel the blues, I watch Yellow Submarine, which I consider to be the finest movie ever made. The message of peace, love and tolerance cheers me up, as does the music. All You Need Is Love is the greatest song ever written and hearing it never fails to cheer me up.” –James C. Wallace II
“Dogma – helps me remember grace exists despite the brokenness of the world, and that I don’t have to be perfect to be a part of the solution, nor does that have to change who I am. In the words of the Metatron, ‘Be who you’ve always been. Just be this too.’ Lord of the Rings Trilogy and Ender’s Game – currently the basis of my youth group curricula with the kids, teaching them the value of challenging power, and that how we win matters.” – Carrie B., Youth Pastor
“My life has been changed by two movies which shaped a large portion of my life. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Fight Club. More Fight Club than anything. But both movies show and prove that you have to TAKE life and not accept what is given to you. Everyone is destined to greatness regardless of your circumstance. No one is GIVEN anything in life that can’t be taken by someone else. So hike up your bootstraps and TAKE what you deserve rather than whining and complaining about your hardships.” –Ed F.
“I adore Captain Marvel because he, along with Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, are what I feel superhero comics are at their purest. Fantastic tales of heroism where people with abilities beyond the rest of mankind show that we can all be more than what we are. We can be better not just as individuals, but as a species.” –Jeff Gwinnup
“…For the really big personal stuff, I have saved, unread, the last few comics my mother gave me before she died.” -Liam W.
“One of my favorite movies to watch when I’m down is A Knight’s Tale. The idea of a man being able to change his stars resonates with me, particularly the idea of his father getting to see it happen. Having lost my father when I was young, it hurts that he won’t ever get to do so, but I am comforted by someone else getting the chance.” –Dan D.
“I gotta say, Big Hero 6 just made me so happy. I lost my mom in an accident about a year ago and for a long time I felt absolutely inconsolable. It took me a long time to appreciate the people who were trying to be there for me despite me pushing them away. Seeing a movie so poignantly showing young people dealing with grief made me feel a lot better about my own grieving process. Seeing the movie helped me remember where I was then compared to where I am now. And I couldn’t have done it without some wonderful people sticking by me.” -Sarah A.
“Video games, mostly RPGs. Being able to make progress in something, seeing a story unfold, fighting and defeating monsters, or even just sitting and listening to music makes me feel better.” -Stephanie P.
“For me it must be Unbreakable. I know everyone likes to trash Shyamalan’s later works but in terms of the truest superhero movie, you can’t get much better. The score is amazing and his progression throughout the movie feels better than anything Marvel or DC has done yet.” -Rob F.
“X-Men has always given me a sense of belonging. Even though I’ve always been a little different, it’s reminded me that I will always be able to find like minded friends!” -Dana L.
“X-Men always taught me that being unique was okay.” -Catherine M.
“Season 2 of Arrow had some really compelling (I thought) explorations of what it means to feel loss, and what we can do about it.” -Michael B.
“For me I’m a huge fan of Wesley Dodds, the Golden Age Sandman. He’s an everyman who works HARD at being not a HERO per se but a crime fighter/ Mystery Man. He’s a constant reminder to me that even if everything seems bleak, you have to keep working on it… there are answers but they don’t just get handed to you. Be persistent.” –Dan G.
Other listed inspirational works include:
- Ghost World
- Tank Girl
- Harry Potter
- I Kill Giants
- Marvel’s Civil War
- Star Trek
- Justice League Unlimited
What inspires you when you’re feeling down?