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The most interesting interaction in the film was between Hugh Newman, the main character, and the supervisor of the parking facility where Hugh worked as the parking attendant. The confrontation between the supervisor and Hugh Newman was the turning point in the film.
It was this conflict that proved to everyone that Hugh had this ability to make people happy. The people are happy because Newman made them focus on their strengths instead of their weaknesses. The other characters that were impressed by Hugh Newman’s ability may have been easily persuaded because they have nothing to lose.
But the supervisor had his job on the line. But when Hugh Newman convinced the supervisor that what they are doing was worthwhile, the supervisor was pleased with him. Newman had a gift and he needed to share it to the world. It can be argued that the producer of the short film wanted the world to practice this kind interpersonal interaction, it was the ability to help people through the use of kind words.
The film provides a clear illustration on the power of words and how it can affect the lives of people. In the interaction between Newman and the supervisor of the parking facility, it was revealed that even the harshest of critics, can be persuaded to change their mind. But there has to be at least one person courageous enough to do something that is unexpected.
There is a grain of truth in the film, especially with regards to a person’s need for validation. This need is made urgent by the fact that there is now limited opportunity for people to talk face-to-face. According to one commentary the 21st century is a world that can be described as a “computer-mediated society” (Tresca, 1998, p.1).
Thus, in the film people were eager to line up in a parking garage to speak to Newman. They were willing to endure unfavorable conditions simply because they needed someone that they can communicate with in the most pleasant manner. It was like re-programming their subconscious. According to one expert in this field, “Affirmations program the mind in the same way that commands and scripts program a computer” (Sasson, 2001, p.1). Therefore, affirmation is validation.
People responded to the words of affirmation given by Newman. In real life one can see this principle at work. In the same manner one can see the reverse of affirmation, which is criticism and ridicule. When the supervisor confronted Newman there was tension, up until Newman overwhelmed the anger of the superior with the power of positive words.
It is interesting to point out that there was no scene of family members that were in conflict. There may have been constraints in their time and budget. However, if this aspect of life is excluded in the film, there may be critics who may question the authenticity of the film. But it can be said that these gaps are the result of certain constraints.
The film should include an interaction between the main character and other members of society. For example, the film director should have brought Newman to the poorer sections of the city where there are hardened criminals. It is to demonstrate that positive affirmation can also work in economically depressed areas of the city. It would have been interesting to find out their reaction to the words spoken by Newman.
This exercise enables the person to appreciate the power and value of words of affirmation. The impact of kind words and positive words were clearly evident in the lives of the characters. The interaction between the supervisor and Newman proved that even if people are not yet receptive to the idea of affirmation, sooner or later they will be persuaded to accept its benefits.
Sasson, R. (2001). The power of affirmations. Retrieved from <https://www.successconsciousness.com/positive-affirmations.html>.
Tresca, M. (2008). The impact of anonymity on disinhibitive behavior through computer-mediated communication. Retrieved from <https://msu.edu/>.