One of my favourite things about the Christmas season is snuggling up indoors and watching festive films. Whether it’s John McClane scaling buildings or Arnie searching for an action figure, I absolutely love it! Home Alone is easily one of the best, and when I watched it again this year, I couldn’t help but see some great lessons for working towards justice. (Don’t worry, I’m not planning to throw an iron at anyone!)
1. Stay vigilant
Right from the opening scene, Kevin notices there’s something fishy about the ‘unassuming’ police officer. And he’s right! Later recognising him as one of the robbers from his gold tooth, Kevin was able to get the jump on him and prepare to fight. It’s a great reminder to stay vigilant. Do we have our eyes open to see where injustice is taking place? Just like Harry, it often hides in plain sight. Injustice can be found in the clothes we wear, in the food we eat and the stories we tell. It’s our job to call it out when we see it and respond accordingly.
2. Get creative
Although Kevin probably should’ve found a responsible adult to help, he did the next best thing and crafted some (somewhat worryingly) great booby traps. Now I want to see an end to poverty, but I’m not here to condone physical violence (seriously, is no one else concerned by his savagery?) When we’re addressing matters of injustice there’s plenty of strategies we can take. Signing petitions and contacting your MP are invaluable tools, but so is using your creativity or finding technology to make a difference.
3. We all have a part to play
Home Alone is a classic tale of unwitting grown-ups being outdone by a ‘helpless’ child. Younger generations always seem to be underestimated in what we can achieve. But let’s not be discouraged. Like Kevin, let’s defy the odds, use what we have to make a difference and lead the charge for social change. Equally we need to make sure not to misjudge others. Kevin may have thought Old Man Marley wouldn’t help, or even be someone to avoid, but he ended up helping Kevin bring justice to the robbers.
4. Rally together
Kevin’s mum (although problematically negligent) did all she could to get back to him. Throughout the film, she pleads everyone to help her on her quest and finally finds luck with Gus Polinski. The problems of the world can feel impossible to tackle by ourselves, but together we are stronger. What are the issues God has put on your heart to change? Chances are, you’re not the only one feels that way. The We Are Tearfund community is a great place to find like-minded people who will join you on your justice journey.
5. Remember others
Ultimately the entire plot of Home Alone could’ve been avoided if Kevin had a better family! But that’s not too dissimilar to the current state of the world. While we may be separated by oceans and borders, I believe we’re all responsible to each other as global brothers and sisters. However like Kevin’s family, we often get so caught up in rushing around that we forget to think about others. It was because ‘God loved the world that he gave his one and only Son’ (John 3:16). So let’s follow suit and demonstrate love by working towards justice for all.
Have you got a favourite Christmas film that has some lessons on justice? Let us know @WeAreTearfund
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