The purpose of life is a deeply philosophical question that has been contemplated by humans for centuries. Different people and cultures have proposed various perspectives on the purpose of life, and there is no universally accepted answer. Although the quest to find and fulfill your own true purpose can often times feel never-ending, it’s ultimately one of the most rewarding fortunes of life. "Soul" is a Pixar animated film that explores profound questions about life's purpose and the pursuit of passion. The story revolves around Joe Gardner, a middle-school band teacher with a passion for jazz music. After an unexpected accident, Joe's soul is transported to the "Great Before," a place where souls develop their personalities before being born. Determined to return to his body and fulfill his dreams, Joe teams up with a skeptical soul named 22, embarking on a journey through various realms, including Earth and the ethereal "Great Beyond." As Joe and 22 learn from each other, they discover the true essence of living, the importance of embracing one's own spark, and the significance of finding joy in the present moment. "Soul" beautifully explores themes of purpose, identity, and the significance of embracing life's everyday wonders.
Finding Your Spark
Throughout the movie, the concept of a spark is central to the film's narrative and themes. The spark refers to an individual's passion, purpose, or inner calling. It represents what makes us unique and drives us to pursue our dreams and find fulfillment in life. The main character, Joe Gardner, is a middle school music teacher who dreams of becoming a professional jazz musician, so naturally, his spark is his love for music and playing the piano.
The idea is that every person has a distinct spark that sets them apart. Your spark helps you embrace your unique passions, talents, and interests, rather than conforming to societal expectations or pursuing goals solely for external validation. “Soul” shows us that finding your spark helps you pursue your dreams and aspirations. It encourages individuals to listen to their inner voice, follow their passions, and take risks to achieve what they truly desire. The spark serves as a reminder that it's essential to find and nurture what brings each of us genuine fulfillment and happiness.
Aspire to Inspire
Although “22” initially appears as a cynical and apathetic soul, her journey throughout the film offers valuable life lessons and inspiration for both Joe and viewers alike. 22 challenges the idea that life has a predetermined purpose or that success is measured solely by achieving a specific goal. By questioning the conventional understanding of a "spark" or passion, 22 encourages us to explore our own paths and find meaning in everyday experiences. She embodies curiosity and a thirst for knowledge. We witness her as she becomes fascinated by the simple pleasures of life, like enjoying a slice of pizza or feeling the sun on her face. This serves as a reminder to appreciate the small moments and find joy in the present.
22's fear of failure and uncertainty is a relatable struggle for many. Through their journey with Joe, 22 learns to confront their fears and take risks. This message inspires viewers to step out of their comfort zones and pursue their dreams, even when faced with doubt or setbacks. As 22 explores the world and inhabits Joe's body, they discover a sense of wonder and appreciation for human experiences. Their journey highlights the importance of self-discovery and embracing one's unique qualities, reminding us that our identities are shaped through a combination of experiences and perspectives. Ultimately, 22 finds purpose not in a grandiose achievement but in the simple act of living and appreciating the everyday wonders of existence. This serves as a powerful reminder that purpose and fulfillment can be found in the present moment and in the connections, we make with others.
Through these aspects, 22 inspires viewers to embrace the beauty of life, find their own paths, and value the moments that truly matter.
Don’t Become a Lost Soul The lost souls in the movie represent individuals who have lost their passion and purpose in life, consumed by negative emotions and disconnected from their true selves. The lost souls are trapped in a state of disconnection from the world around them, constantly dwelling on past regrets or worries about the future, emphasizing the value of being fully present in the current moment and appreciating the beauty of everyday experiences. Through the character of 22, as a lost soul, the film shows the power of human connection and how it can inspire personal growth and transformation. 22 teaches valuable lessons about empathy, friendship, and the impact we can have on each other's lives.
Lost souls are portrayed as individuals who have become fixated on their perceived flaws or mistakes, which prevents them from embracing their authentic selves. This teaches the audience about the importance of self-acceptance and celebrates the beauty of imperfection, emphasizing that our mistakes and quirks are what make us unique and special. In short, one must never let themselves become so consumed with negativity that they become a lost soul and eventually miss out on the grander things in life.
Remember to Live Your Life Ultimately, the purpose of life may vary from person to person, and it often depends on individual beliefs, values, and personal experiences. It's a question that each of us must grapple with and find our own answer to base on our unique perspective and circumstances. "Soul" underscores the significance of self-discovery, embracing individuality, pursuing dreams, and finding fulfillment in life. The film reminds us to be grateful for the small moments that bring us happiness and to find beauty in everyday life. Reflect on your own passions and what truly brings you joy and remember the importance of living a life driven by your own personal authenticity and purpose!
A self-described geek, Maria Laquerre-Diego is a CEO and Owner who is committed to increasing access to mental health services and breaking down the stigma surrounding therapy services. As a therapist turned CEO, Maria has developed a unique perspective when it comes to mental health and the barriers surrounding mental health treatment. Influenced by her time at New Mexico State University in the Family and Consumer Science department, and University of New Hampshire’s Marriage and Family Therapy department, Maria has turned her dedication to giving back and supporting future generations of therapists. In addition to supporting mental health providers, Maria takes an active role in addressing the continued stigma of mental health services through the use of pop culture – everything from movies and television shows to superheroes and Disney characters. Maria has spoken about mental health at several local events, has served as an officer on professional boards and has provided training to clinicians all over the country while maintaining her and her family’s roots as Aggies! Outside of the office, Maria can be found spending time with her family and loved ones, exploring the world through travel, and creating cosplays for herself, her husband and their two little ones. Maria is always happy to talk about Star Wars, Marvel and mental health and can be contacted through her practice website www.anewhopetc.org