What do Malcolm X, Congressman John Lewis and the new movie The Maze Runner have in common?
Well, the first two seem obvious. They are both well known leaders of the Civil Rights Era. How do they connect to that movie though? Take a moment to think about it…
OhCAE. You give up?
First, have you seen The Maze Runner? No? OhCAE. Let me tell you a little about it without spoiling it. There’s a whole bunch of boys who found themselves in this place and they’ve created their own society because they’re sure there is no way out. They have two guys run through the maze every day to possibly find new pathways that might get them out. A new guy, Thomas, comes in and he is convinced that there has to be a way. The others who had been there tell him to just follow the rules that the society has set up and he’ll be safe. Don’t rock the boat and the people who put them there would continue to supply them with their food and supplies every month. But he couldn’t take it. He really wanted out. So Thomas broke the rules because he was desperate to have a life that he knew was better.
Does that little synopsis help connect the pictures? No? OhCAE. Stick with me.
Congressman John Lewis is well known for his bravery when he faced the police on Bloody Sunday in Selma, Al in 1965. If you don’t know anything about it, google it, but its name can give you the picture that it wasn’t pretty. I heard John Lewis speak twice this year and both times he talked about how he found the courage to do what he did. Both times he said that he knew he was going to get in trouble, but it was good trouble, necessary trouble so that they could change the world.
“Find a way to get in the way…” That has been quietly replaying in my mind since I heard it the first time and it YELLED at me when I saw The Maze Runner and the quote and the movie combined made me think of when I read a quote by Malcolm X when he said
The boys who had been stuck built a society where they relied on and completely trusted their oppressors. They trusted them so much that they were angry when the new guy came and found a way to get into trouble, necessary trouble and he changed their world. He had a clear understanding of who the oppressors were and even though they offered them a satisfactory life he wasn’t satisfied because he knew there was more available. He had to go against the grain and break out of the relationship with the people who had put him in that desolate place.
Once he started others joined and most of them made it out.
Malcolm X makes a good point because we can be manipulated into trusting in something that’s relegating us to a position much lower than we were designed to be. Once we recognize the oppressor John Lewis encourages us to get in their way. Once we recognize the oppressor and get in the way like Thomas did we can gain the respect and support of others to change the world.
OhCAE. I’m done.