When I think about the TV shows and movies I used to watch as a kid, it was always very easy to tell who was good and who was bad. Superman—good. Lex Luthor—bad. Mike Brady—good. The dude who faked whiplash to win a case against Carol—bad. The Scooby gang—good. The masked villains who would’ve gotten away with their dastardly schemes had it not been for those blasted kids—bad. Looking back at it now, I honestly think this black and white view of the world tainted my perception of people and experiences. Teachers and kids were either good or bad. A hot lunch choice was either good or bad. My day was either good or bad. And because I grew up thinking this way, much of this mindset is still with me, for better or for worse.
The concept of taking a leap of faith has been covered many times on Lost. Locke had told Jack that he was taking a leap of faith by pressing the button; Hurley took a leap of faith by risking his life with Charlie to get the DHARMA van started as it sped down a hill; and in the episode titled, “316,” the theme shows up throughout. In fact, the title itself should’ve been the first tip-off.
While most mythological stories explore at least one or two truths about the way our world works, Lost is unique in that it explores hundreds of them. It’s almost as if Lost is a spiritual guidebook to life. While I sometimes joke around about it, I’m beginning to truly believe that fans of the show will be better equipped to handle the strange new world we are going to inherit in the upcoming years. Whether consciously or subconsciously, it is almost as if Lost is training us to be able to mentally handle the future. The Good Book says that the meek shall inherit the earth. Perhaps it was referring to Lost geeks.
The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupéry is the first “grown-up” book I ever read. Which is ironic because it’s a children’s book about how we should never lose our sense of child-like wonder. Actually, the book is about a million different things and about absolutely nothing. While much of the mythology went over my head when I’d originally read the book as a kid, the story’s rich symbolism and metaphor made that fact pretty apparent. Even back then, I knew there was a lot going on in the book that I didn’t understand. I actually read the book again a few years ago after reading The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho because the story reminded me of it. I think I understand it a little better now, but will probably have to read it again in another 30 years or so. Something tells me that when I read it a final time as an old man, I will realize that I understood it the clearest when I was a kid. And that’s sort of the point.