The Maryknoll Affiliates of Northeast Florida hosted their first Movie Night on January 17th, 2011. Due to limited publicity, there were only nine people in attendance to watch The Blind Side. However, this small group showed great enthusiasm as we enjoyed together this inspiring movie based on a true story. After the movie, we had a good discussion about what a selfless act the Tuohy family made, in welcoming a virtual stranger, Michael Oher, into their home and, after some time, into their family.
While Leigh Anne Tuohy led the family's efforts, we saw her husband as supportive and her children flexible, thus making it possible to add Michael to their family successfully. One attendee commented that it is difficult to trust and bring someone into your home today, and that it is better to give money and let experts decide how to use it to help people. We observed that even Leigh Anne had concerns at first that she might be too trusting in allowing Michael to spend the night.
For Michael’s part, we believed that it took great courage for him to attend his new school, considering he was very different from most of his classmates, both in size and in color. We believed his gentleness made it easier for the Tuohy family to bond with him. Although Collins Tuohy acknowledged some negative reaction from her classmates, she didn’t seem to really struggle with concerns about possible loss of popularity. Perhaps her mother’s acknowledged charitable tendencies, had prepared Collins and S.J. to be open and unselfish, despite the family’s wealth.
Some of our attendees shared about times when they had personally helped others in need, including one instance of letting a teenager stay in their home for six months during a period of estrangement from her own family. Another attendee had helped an immigrant family, when they first immigrated to North Florida.
We look forward to future movie nights. In February, our affiliate group will show The Painted Veil, a story about marital infidelity and forgiveness. We plan to have more publicity and hope to get a larger attendance. We will also try a different seating arrangement in an effort to get even more attendees involved in our discussion.