This Weekend Movie Suggestion: Netflix – The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies- APPEARANCES ARE DECEIVING…

The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies is the perfect movie to watch on a rainy weekend like this… Especially if, perhaps, like me, you need to be reminded at times that many times evil comes in “normal,” or externally beautiful ways. Appearances are deceiving!

The movie, a BBC production based on real events, starring Jason Watkins,
is nothing short of extraordinary! His performance, so nuanced, I wondered how or whom did Watkins study to reach such perfection!

Jefferies, a retired school teacher of 34 years, whose “only fault” was eccentricity, is wrongly accused of murdering a young woman and hounded by media and misjudged by society on no real grounds.

A young man, who looked “normal” by the standards of our society, is overlooked at first but ultimately judged and punished as the real killer.

However, Jefferies life was already ruined: He was no longer welcomed to participate in activities dear and meaningful to him and many of those who befriended, turn their backs on him.
The emotional consequences are devastating! Jefferies, a kind, peaceful human being is forced to turn into a determined fighter in the name of ALL “the Jefferies” of the world, good people who are assumed guilty just because they are different from what our culture considers “normal.”

This masterpiece reminded me of the children’s Bear Family Book Series, specifically the book in which Mama Bear teaches the cubs about hidden dangers and deceiving appearances. She demonstrates how deceiving beauty could be by showing the cubs a beautiful, on the outside perfect, healthy apple. When she cuts it, the inside is brown and rotted…

There are many layers of messages in this exceptional movie, delivered through multiple channels of communication. Peter Morgan, who wrote it, delivered a powerful message, and each word is a jewel. However, Watkins’ acting is so nuanced, his facial expressions and body language so convincing, I felt I needed to watch the movie again and turn off the sound to focus on the images.

Next time I am tempted to judge “different” and assume it is “evil,” or “less,” or “wrong,” I will remember this movie which is based on true events. An official “Letter of Exonoration” is not enough to mend the tragic consequences of false accusations. It is easy to misjudge based on appearances and hard to ignore what our culture has taught us is normal!

HOW DO YOU DEFINE NORMAL?
Please share your opinion and/or story if you have a personal event when appearances were deceiving and led to unpleasant consequences. Food for thought…
Have a cozy weekend!

Rodica Mihalis, M.S. Counseling and Clinical Psychology
Life’s Crossroads and Wellness Coaching

Is God Too Busy? Or Just On Vacation?

This post was intended to be a Netflix movie review, but the movie I picked was THE ICEMAN, a movie based on the real life of a notorious killer, Richard Kuklinski, who between 1964-1986 killed around 100 people, both for the mob and for personal pleasure.
The character was exceptionally played by Michael Shannon.

The movie is a jewel and I, as many before me, awarded it a five- stars rating.

There was a scene in this movie, which has been echoing in my mind, already slightly, or…let’s admit, totally depressed. The scene in The Iceman went as follows:

He was send to kill someone. A routine Mob hit.
When the victim understood he was about to die, he begged and pleaded in the name of God. The Iceman stopped for a moment, and says:

“Do you think if you pray to your God, He will stop me from killing you? Okay, then I have time… pray. You have five minutes to pray.”

The victim prays so hard, for a moment, I thought somehow a miracle will happen and God will show its merciful hand and save him…
but none of it happened, and the Iceman, said: e up.

“Your five minutes are I guess God is busy!”

He shot the victim, took off the murderous gloves and peaceful went home where his loving, unsuspected wife and adorable daughters were waiting for him. The most trusting, loving father and husband.

So… God was busy.

Why did I even pick such a depressing movie, which now, threw me in an even deeper depression as I examined my own life.

It wasn’t even necessary to think of the important on going problems, but just the small annoying ones, which, let’s face it, do make the big issues. Each big issue is not big from the beginning, but consists of many unpleasant events piled on top of one another until their multitude suffocates you.

Let’s take just the month of August. How was my August, a traditional month for vacations.
Not for me.

It started by my noticing my beloved 18-year old dog, Sophie was chewing at her front paw. On further examination, I noticed, the groomer at Petsmart missed the dew claws on both her front paws which as a result curled into her flesh causing excruciating pain. What followed? Hours of calls and trips to Petsmart, which after agreeing with the undeniable reality of their negligence, gave me a phone number to call Corporate. Aother endless conversations! Then looking for a vet, because she requires surgery. Our vet died so, the next appointmment with a new vet was on September 4. Another week of pain for Sophie and my trying to control an infection!

Okay, things happen, but the Patsmart incident wasn’t enough, then, I got sick eating turkey bacon purchased at Sam’s Club.
As I was still recovering from tow days of Hell, I heard on the news about the recall of the turkey bacon which almost killed me!!! Thank you Sam’s Club!

But that didn’t end. Recovering from food poisoning wasn’t the end.

Trying to help a friend with research, I discovered my book, The Gypsy Saw Two Lives,” for which I am being told by the publisher hasn’t even earned in roylties the minimum of $25 to send me a check, is listed for a reading option as part of a membership of $9.99 with a company, Playsters???? Who makes the royalties? Am I being robbed? Who is robbing me? Another unpleasant, convoluted problem to solve!

Oh… but that’s not all. Bank of America decided to sell certain branches, among them the Lancaster branch were I bank. I switches my accounts to Citizen Bank, which is closer, but in the process, in ways I am still try to figure out, I was notified from Bank of America that a $12.00 check bounced. Fine, I had overdraft protection. But then, not doing my math right, I ordered ” Making Sense of the Scripture,” from Amazon, for $12 which somehow was also paid from my old account. This saga, of the total of $20 dollars triggered $80.00 IN FEES from Bank of America with which I banked for over 15 years. Shame on you Bank of America! Way to pay loyalty when you no longer need a client because you sell a branch!!!

But, God must have been on vacation in August, because the chain of misfortunes didn’t end.

Protect of America, a home securities company whose service I terminated in May, decided they wanted my business back. After several emails offering me incentives for going back, they changes into bad guys. First, aggressive calls, asking me to pay an EXTRA month of service which was NEVER provided. The service was DISCONNECTED and what I used paid for. This might make the topic of an entire post, as recently I received an actual paper bill for this never rendered service.

To top it all, on my street we noticed an invention of rats and mice! Not any rats, but what I call, alien rats. Neighbors who had python snakes as pets and fed them rats, left one behind and he or she bred with the indigenous rats. On top, we have the hogs and the skunks running around and spreading their scent all over the fresh air.

To make the matter more alarming, I found the mutated white and black rat in my shed, dead and to make it more traumatic, a hog was dead laid in the middle of the alley! No need to detail the uselessness of calling the borough for help. So… another unresolved problem.

I tried to see the beauty in my life. To stay positive, damn it!
Took pictures of the sunflowers, cut a fragrant red rose and some fresh levander and placed them in a vase and stared at them mindlessness, but this serene moment was interrupted by my baby dog, Lola, having seizures whose cause, after $440 in vet fees, could not be determine…

Tomorrow is August 31. I I still try to see the beauty of my life, as the news reminds me of the 10 year anniversary of Katrina, in which I lost my best friend…plan to take the train to Philadelphia to meet the head Hand surgeon at Rothman Institute in hopes he could advice what to do with the pain in the wrist of my right hand which came overnight, ten years ago, and never left me!

Yes, August was definitely a vacation month ….even for God! Not for me!

I am eagerly awaiting for God to come back from where he took time off and perhaps see the small things which turned into big ones which are overwhelming in an irrelevant person’s lifetmp_21394-image-332458593.