When I saw the trailer for this movie, I had no idea what to expect. The trailer tells an entirely different story from what is within the film. Yes, it deals with friendship, but there is something far more profound and deeper than just defending and fighting for a friend. It is a word that somehow managed to illude every dictionary in the world, and that is ‘unforgiveness.’ This movie offers a viable alternative to forgiving; vengeance.
We all experience some form of trauma growing up. A very common theme among heroes is usually a very painful past. Bruce Wayne, who became Batman, witnessed his parents being murdered. The hate he feels towards injustice is fueled by that, even offering additional adrenaline if adequately provoked. Stark (Iron Man) has a very similar, dark and painful past. It does answer some pertinent questions about his character, for example, his inability to “layhis ego aside for one minute.” There are two things that drive a man, and that is identity, and pain. When one’s identity is rooted in pain, it makes them very dangerous — especially to those closest to them.
While growing up, we may not have been taught thetrue value of forgiveness. Even those who practice mystical arts outside of religion knows the value of releasing those who offend us. It’s hard, maybe even the most difficult thing you will ever be called upon to do, but the alternative can have far-reaching effects. It can consume and destroy us, and everything we hold dear.
Captain America lost over seventy years of his life. It was taken from him, including the woman he loved. He is beginning to find love again but in the presence of loss. Iron Man has suppressed the pain he feels over what happened to his parents in his younger years. These two share a special friendship threatened only by one secret that was kept for many years. The Winter Soldier has had a very dark past, being brainwashed to become an assassin against his will. He spent his latter years doing the things he did not want to do and struggles to forgive himself. He was asked if he remembered the face of someone he killed, to which he painfully responds, “I remember them all.” Put all three in one room, and reveal a secret common to them all, and you have a civil war on your hands.
We must learn to deal with our painful past, no matter how dark and painful it was. It is never an option to bury thepain, because it never really goes away. Like fuel in a car, we don’t see how it works, and we have to trust a needle on a gauge to keep us in check, but it drives the vehicle. We can succeed for a time to conceal our pain, but human beings are ever ascending which means eventually we have to face the junk in our lives, whether that be pain or fear. The Avengers would never have become the strong team we know them to be in comic book days unless the junk of the past had been dealt with. Likewise, we will never become who we were truly made to become, until we face up to the junk and deal with it. It is adeception to believe that the past is irrelevant. Your past, present, and future co-labor to make the best version of you.
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