This is the core truth from which everything in One In A Million flows. In fact, it is the absence of one or more of these elements driving every major plot point. When the equilibrium of power, love and a sound mind are disrupted or absent, fear is the natural consequence, taking everything else hostage. This concept is clearly demonstrated through Oliver's relational paralysis and Curly's pilfering.
The Most Painful Non-Date Ever
After watching One In A Million several times, I can't help but imagine Oliver locked in a self-made prison he can't escape, each misstep another wrought-iron pillar, caging him in. This is particularly evident as he struggles to call their dinner a "date." It's as if Oliver fully intended to say the word as he began the sentence, but already calling them "just friends" and learning of Shane's past encounters at the restaurant prevented the word from ever leaving his lips. His mind was so unsound it compensated by over-thinking, as Ramon so appropriately alerted Oliver to. Perhaps it was also a subconscious mechanism defending him against rushing into things, as he admitted was a concern to Joe two days later.
In the moment, the spirit of fear gripping Oliver rendered him unable to wield the power to be clear and deliberate in his intentions towards Shane, to commit to their relationship by calling it a "date," holding Oliver---and his true feelings---hostage.
Where Oliver's fear caused him relational paralysis, Dudley Curly's fear caused him to act out in a big way.
Duck, Duck, Goof
At the end of his career, Dudley Curly's concern with having something to show for the decades he dedicated to the United States Postal Service disrupted his sound mind, causing him to overcompensate through an abuse of power.
No question, from the carefully coordinated mail theft to the "targeting [of] O'Toole's," Curly's antics were not only a result of his fear, but meant to incite fear in others. Oddly enough, he tried to use fear to attract attention, remembrance and even perhaps love to some degree. Being held hostage by fear, Curly also held hostage the lives of others by intercepting and detaining their letters.
But, "What Good...?"
Papa O'Toole seemed to understand that nothing "that matters" in life is achieved without the attributes 2 Timothy 1:7 says are given to Christ's followers. This implies we have to use them to risk, "asking for love...attention...forgiveness...[and] whatever happens next, otherwise nothing happens," as Oliver so beautifully explains to Curly, clearly restored to his own equilibrium. While fear can cause us to act out, love, power and a sound mind without action can cause us to remain isolated, and in just as bad a position as if we were walking in fear. We were meant for more, as Oliver soon realizes, finally finding the courage to risk by asking Shane for a second chance at a first date.
Oliver and Curly's literal and theoretical hostage situations remind us what happens when we let fear rule the day, and implore us to remember that at our core we are made of so much more. But there is a catch---we must use the "spirit of power, and love and a sound mind" given us to pursue what matters in life, otherwise "nothing happens."
Alternate translations and interpretations of the topics discussed today lay the foundation for much of the post-One In A Million analysis happening here on A&D. Please prepare yourselves accordingly---the work continues tomorrow.
Class Officially In Session,