This weekend I went to see the movie “Tomorrowland” with my husband. I should admit now that I am a Disney aficionado and was perhaps overly excited to escape to this children’s movie based on the theme park for a couple of hours. Without giving away the plot line, this movie primarily took place in a modern doomsday setting – with many of the “current events” portrayed clearly paralleling the stories on our news channels. Tomorrowland demonstrated, on a basic level, how technology can be used to do both immense good and immense harm. The movie shows that even technology created for what seems to be a good or noble purpose may be distorted and not always be used in the way it was intended. Why you create matters, but what you do with what you create matters even more. Yet despite its doomsday atmosphere, woven throughout the movie was a message of the power of imagination and creating a better future. The movie focused on the idea that the freedom to imagine and create must be encouraged. Most striking to me, however, was the unexpected reminder I had when one of the characters asks in the midst of discussing all the earth’s tragedies (like the realization of what was written as fiction in “A Brave New World” ), “But what are we going to do about it?”
This simple question from this children’s movie has led me to think quite seriously about my response: what am I going to do about it? It served as a reminder that I can do something about the tragedies happening in the world around me and even in my own community. I especially could not help thinking of this in terms of bioethics as so many of the new technologies we discuss have both the power to do both great good and great harm. What will my response be? I must make a decision to act, through the grace of God, and reject complacency. Through the grace of God, I can speak truth into the situations which I may face. Through the grace of God, I can take a stand to protect the vulnerable. Through the grace of God, I can advocate for policies that affirm life at all stages. Through the grace of God, I can walk through an illness with someone and offer true peace.
During this movie, I was reminded, and strangely encouraged, to not just think about the issues of bioethics, pondering them in my mind (as I sometimes to do), but to take the next step and work to make a difference. So this week, I encourage each of you as you are faced with a situation that seems hopeless, ask yourself, “But what are we going to do about it?” and then, through the grace of God, do something.