Lessons from a Robot

A few nights ago Jeff and I watched WALL-E. I don’t always love cartoon movies, but I thought this one was particularly good. As with most Disney movies, there are many things that I think are way over a child’s head and can only really be “gotten” by adults.


In this movie, people have completely destroyed earth and have been forced to live this cruise ship livestyle out in space for over 700 years. Everything has been provided for them. They don’t have to read or walk or cook or grow or create. They sit around on their butts in moving chairs with a digital screen in front of their faces talking virtually to everyone. There is no real interaction. No one has jobs. All the work is done by robots. Because of this everyone is lazy and fat and the general shape of sweet potatoes.

While they are gone, this little trash compactor robot’s job is to clean up earth so that they can come back. He’s by himself, so his job is pretty much impossible. The big cruise ship in the sky sends down robots occasionally (this one is named E.V.A.)to scan the earth and search for signs of life and growth. One day as WALL-E is cleaning up, he discovers a plant under a pile of junk. He collects interesting things, so he simply adds this to his collection. Well, E.V.A discovers it and takes it back to the cruise ship in the sky. The people are then faced with coming back to earth to start over. This, of course, is a very difficult task for people who don’t interact with each other and who are in such terrible shape that they can’t even walk.

It made me think about how careless most of us are with our earth. I know that they are greatly exaggerating real life as we know it in this movie, but there are so many truths in it. Will we one day just completely junk it up and use it up? Then what? I’m guessing that no one will build us a giant cruise ship in the sky.

And what if we were faced with starting over? With learning how to grow our food and build things from the ground up? In our age of technology and butt sitting (I say this as I sit on my butt and type on my computer) do we have the skills or the strength of body or mind to do something like that?

It seems like the difficult jobs are always left to someone else. Someone who isn’t as “smart” or who will work for nothing. Someone who will do back-breaking labor for hours on end. It’s sad, really. The work of farming and building has been passed along for the most part.

I’m thankful that I can cook and that I can be very resourceful and creative with food, but there are so many MOTHERS who cannot cook and who don’t put forth the effort. I won’t go there because I’m likely to offend many, but I think that’s sad, too.

My point is this. A kid’s cartoon movie has succeeded in motivating me to: do more to care for our earth, do more with my hands and do something that pushes me physically and mentally each day.


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