By Tanya Tiger
“How could I have ever known when I created you that you would become… you?” (Deon, the Maker to Chappie)
Every so often a movie comes along that makes me stop and think.
This was a movie that went below the surface and dug its claws into my psyche. In this particular instance it made me take pause to contemplate the creation of humanity and the concept of “Maker.”
My thoughts on this movie haven’t been based on any particular religion or spiritual belief. Rather, my thoughts have hung in the air like smoke, free-flowing around the quote mentioned above.
Without revealing too much of the plotline I will share this: Chappie realizes that his battery is going to fail and he asks his maker why he created him only to let him die. His maker looks at him and says, “How could I have ever known when I created you that you would become… you?”
In that moment I wondered to myself if “God” (the term I will use in this piece to describe our “maker”) has had a similar reaction when we curse the skies during our trials and tribulations or when we ask “Why do bad things happen” or “Why do people do bad things?” How could “God” have known what we would each become?
I imagine He/She/It could not have predicted the outcome but can only watch from a distance with the same undying love—and frustration—a parent has for a child (or, at least, the love a child is supposed to have).
I thought about my own daughter. I brought her into this world but I have no idea how she will turn out. I have hopes and dreams for her. I believe deeply in my heart that I will always love her, no matter who she becomes. I imagine this is how our maker feels about us as well (at least this is my hope).
This movie, and specifically the quote mentioned above, stuck with me late into the evening. I laid in bed staring at the ceiling wondering how many times my maker has shaken his head at my doubting, my questioning, my anger, my sadness, my feelings of loss and abandonment. How many times have I thought only of my maker when I’ve wanted or needed something?
I had to admit to myself that most of my communication with my maker has been in asking for help (help to find a job, help to be stronger/wiser/make more money, and even to find a good parking space). I’m left feeling a bit ashamed of myself for being so angry at my maker sometimes.
I can recall nights of crying and asking my maker, “Why me? What did I ever do to you that you would let this happen?”
It was as if I expected my maker to come to me and apologize for all of the evils in this world. I feel foolish that I ever laid blame at my maker’s feet for the transgressions of my fellow humans.
I realize that I’m not alone and that many tend to blame their God(s) when things go horribly wrong. We do horrendous things to one another and our planet in the name of our Gods. We point fingers and lay blame against those who disagree with our points of view and Our Gods.
This quote makes me stop to wonder if our maker—Our Gods—watch in horror at what we do and say in their name(s). It would be like watching my daughter commit heinous crimes against humanity and then point her finger at me and say, “It’s all your fault.”
While this quote saddened me at first and made me blush with shame at my own actions, it also gave me a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel. It made me realize that everything that happens—good and bad—isn’t so much about the end of the road, it’s about the journey we’re on.
It’s about what we choose to do with our lives.
When our bodies were created, they were created with an end date (just like Chappie’s), but our consciousness—the us inside our bodies goes on. Our consciousness is what gets molded into who we become. Life is breathed into each of us by our maker and then that maker lets us go into the world. What we choose to do with that gift of life is up to us.
I’m not sure it’s fair to blame our maker for our actions and I’m not sure that it is fair to blame our maker for other’s actions. I’m also not sure if it’s even fair to question our maker as to why people do what they do, because how could the maker have ever possibly known what we would become when we were brought to creation?
Whether you believe in Intelligent Design, Evolution or the Creation myths (Adam and Eve), it’s difficult to imagine that our beginnings would provide any hint to our ends.
This tsunami of thoughts brought with it more questions than answers. It left me wondering if God or the belief in any higher power is a form of moral placebo. Do we behave differently simply because we are afraid of being punished or do we act from a place of kindness because it is part of who we are?
And, if we were meant to be kind, loving, accepting, etc. and not engage in harm of any kind wouldn’t we have been programmed that way? Is this what Christians refer to as free will did our Maker create us with free will or is that just another byproduct of our human consciousness?
All of this has left me realizing just how beautiful, terrifying and fragile we all are.
We can love with great passion but we can also destroy on levels not previously known. We ultimately have way more control over our lives than we realize, or want to acknowledge, and this is both powerful and scary.
When we take away the blame and embrace the fact that we can control the direction of our lives, we can only look to ourselves as to whether the outcome is good or bad. I think that everyone can agree that life hands out some pretty crummy deals sometimes.
If we sit around waiting for someone or something to rescue us as we curse the skies and do nothing, we may be waiting for a very long time, even though our salvation lays within us.
This reminds me of the story of the man caught in the flood.
As the waters rose he prayed to God for salvation. A little while later a boat came along and the people told the man to hop in. The man smiled and said, “No thank you God will provide my rescue, he is my salvation.” The water continued to rise and the man climbed onto the roof. He looked up to the sky and said, “God, please, I pray for your salvation. Save me from these rising waters.” A few minutes later another boat came along and the people told he man to jump in. He waved them off, telling them that God would provide his rescue and salvation.
The water continued to rise and the man climbed to the top of his chimney. He prayed to God, “God, why have you not come? I am asking you for salvation. Please rescue me from these waters.” A few moments later a helicopter hovered over and lowered a ladder. “Climb aboard,” they yelled to the man. The man waved them off and yelled to the helicopter that he didn’t need their help, God would save him from this flood. The helicopter flew away and the man drowned.
When the man arrived in Heaven, he angrily asked God, “Why? Why did you forsake me oh Lord? I have been your humble servant for all these years and you just let me drown?” God looked at the man and said, “But my child, I sent you two boats and a helicopter. What more did you want?”
If what makes us “us,” is our consciousness, where does it come from and where does it go when we die? Are we downloaded into new bodies? Do we simply cease to exist?
Maybe our maker did know how potentially destructive we would be and that is why we all have an expiration date.
Editor: Dana Gornall