Wow. What a movie.
I have never been disappointed with a Disney/Pixar movie and I’m happy to say that trend continues.
There are so many things I want to point out, but I’ll try to keep it short.
First off, how cool was it to have a main black animated character! Loved that and I’ll start from there:
The Black Things:
1. The Barbershop
Such an important staple in the black community, especially for our men.
The Barbershop is where men not only go to get lined up or cut, but to unwind. In the movie, the Barber Dez had a full beard and fade! I couldn’t take it! So cool to see and one character had a fro and another locs; representation is seriously everything! You felt the vibe for sure.
2. The Black Women
His mom and the other ladies at the shop looked like my family. His mom had the short gray curls, and it was beautiful!
4. Curly’s Shirt
He had a word shirt on and that particular style has become very popular in the black culture.
I don’t know if a lot of people caught it but Joe asking 22 to put lotion on him after the shower (so he wouldn’t be ashy) was too funny to me.
Next, I move into the education component.
It was so good to see Joe as a black male teacher; I can count on one hand how many of those I had.
It touched the teacher in me when Joe took a moment to celebrate Connie for being in the “zone” and then he got on the piano to express his point of “feeling” the music. A good teacher engages their students and connects with them.
I also found it funny and right on point when 22 was mocking the educational system. So much needs to change and it’s long overdue.
Lastly, because I say I’d keep it short, the life lessons that Soul showed me:
1. A full-time job is not the end of your creative purpose/pursuit, it’s apart of it.
When Joe was offered a full time position it seemed that he felt his dreams slowly dying, not realizing, it was a part of his purpose. Because of him being a teacher, Curly became such a great drummer and later he got a gig through that connection.
2. Make sure you’re aware of your surroundings
I mean this is obvious but watch where you are going! Before Joe fell in the hole, he almost got killed by bricks, slipped on banana peel, and hit by a car. Put the phone up and look at where you’re going.
3. Lost Souls
This part was so powerful to me. A lost soul doesn’t happen overnight; it’s when you become so obsessed with something or overwhelmed with anxieties that you block out everything and everyone else.
- The Zone
I love seeing my friends and family in their “zone” -their element-it’s usually effortless. But Moonwind made a good point in the movie saying that when that love, that joy, that thing becomes an obsession, it can disconnect you from life-much like a lost soul.
5. Meaning of life – Spark vs. Purpose
Joe thought his only purpose on earth was to play the piano. 22 thought her purpose to maybe walk or sky gaze wasn’t good enough-that she wasn’t good enough. They were both wrong.
In the Before, you see the random selection of personalities (which was hilarious too me) but then the souls needed to be “complete” before they went to earth (they needed their spark).
22 couldn’t find it in anything but life itself. It wasn’t until she was experiencing Joe’s life/her first body, that she found her spark.
Life is a spark. The everyday. The meeting with friends, a beautiful sunny day, being with family, eating a good meal. You saw this in Joe’s flashbacks (which got me a little teary).
In the end, Joe realized the “big break” he was waiting on was just a moment. It didn’t completely change his life. I think it’s dangerous to only count on one thing to make you happy or to wait to start living until it does.
How many relationships, connections, life moments are passed up because we’re so “focused on our careers” or busy with other things.
Life is so precious, and we only have one. Don’t waste it just searching for your purpose or only focusing on “making it big”.
I used to stress about finding my purpose because I felt that’s what I’m supposed to do. It’s what I’ve been taught to “find my calling”-not knowing that for me this was my passion and through this passion became purpose.
I realized that my passion is writing and the best stuff flows from me when I have a spark, like this movie or a conversation, a relationship, a beautiful starry night, music, all sparks for my words. The everyday life.
Embrace the experiences around you, stop and smell the roses, explore passions and those sparks will become purpose. I think a spark is what creates or generates your purpose, and a purpose is not limited or one dimensional.
When 22 received her earth badge, that meant she was ready to live.
We’ve already received ours, what are you waiting on?
You are good enough.
In the end, when asked what he was going to do with his life Joe said, “I’m going to live every minute of it.”
Don’t just exist in this life, give to it. Enjoy it. The experiences you allow yourself to be apart of will develop the person you are supposed become, like Dez in the Barbershop. He wanted to be a veterinarian but due to family circumstances he became a barber and it turned out to be what he loved.
My advice to you is, don’t limit your life.
Live every minute of it.
Love you loves,
Docter, Pete, director. Soul. Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar Animation Studios.2020