Monday, February 8, 2010

Embrace Life

SPOILER!! If you haven't seen the Embrace Life clip on my next post,, watch it now.

The clip with everything

They threw it all in: Everyman; the sudden, sickening violence of a road traffic accident; despair; motherhood; daughterhood; the protecting strength of love; a happy ending and loads of sparkly pot pourri. I didn't see the apple pie, but I'm sure I could smell it in the stove, lovingly timed for Our Hero's triumphant return.

Not quite what I was expecting

I don't know about other countries, but anyone familiar with the UK's hard hitting road safety campaigns will have had certain expectations. These tend to focus on the cheerful, careless, everyday routine of travel and then the sudden, sickening, life changing (if you're lucky) impact. Lingering in gruesome detail on the ruinous result.

I saw the classic setup and confidently expected that in very short order the beautiful family would be heading, in gloriously lush, detailed slo-mo, through the windscreen.

But no! In a truly magical moment, the moving child morphs from helpless victim to powerful protectrix. Just when he has lost all hope, she and her mother wrap a web of safety around Our Despondent Hero. The family is saved.

And what a wonderful tag-line.

Will I feel my beloved and best beloved's embrace when I next "clunk-click"/"buckle up"?

Making a negative into a positive

As any good salesman knows, you can turn almost any negative into a positive. All the same, finding the good side of a road accident must have been something of a stretch.

The usual message is "you could die: take this seriously". Of course, we all know that. So they took it as read and turned it on its head, to "you could live: take this seriously".

Satisfyingly clever. Actually, this seems to me to be the best metric of cleverness: how huge a negative can I turn into a positive?

I'm a sucker for a happy ending. I suspect that, deep down, we all are. Though it'll take AGES to pick up all the sparkly pot-pourri.

Of course, it's not just seat belts

A car crash isn't the only sudden impact that we will have to face. At work we may face task explosions, promotions, demotions, political thunderstorms, failure of a key project or loss of key people. Our finances may fall apart, or our health, or our homes, or our families.

The carmakers thoughtfully provide us with seatbelts. For everything else, we can look to scripture and saga for guidance. The message from our forefathers is clear: we must weave our own support networks. We must pay attention to them, strengthening them from day to day.

I have neglected mine.

I feel a resolution coming on.