July 13, 2005
Movie reminds us of our 'Field of Dreams'
Can Hollywood movies encourage values like integrity?
Certainly. One admirable example is the 1989 fantasy
movie, "Field of Dreams."
Kevin Costner portrays an Iowa farmer who constructs
a baseball diamond in his cornfield at the repeated urging
of a mystical voice that intones to him, "If you
build it, they will come..."
That farmer, Ray Kinsella, comes face to face with
his father, John Kinsella, and the two of them ask important
questions of each other.
The ghostly father, presented in his youth as a professional
baseball player, looks around the beautifully manicured
ballfield and asks of the young farmer, his son: "Is
this heaven?" "No," his son replies. "This
After a short pause, the son, appearing uncertain and
perplexed, inquires of his father, "Is there a heaven?"
"Oh, yes, there is a heaven," comes the reply. "Heaven
is where dreams come true."
Actor James Earl Jones, plays the 1960s activist and
writer, Terence Mann, in "Field of Dreams." He
summarizes the meaning of the moment for the Iowa farmer,
offering this insight: "Here we are today, longing
for the past and for all that was good then, and could
be good again."
The movie makes the point that we can capture the best
of who we were by being the best of what we know to do,
now. "Field of Dreams" is about integrity,
accountability and stewardship.
Earlier in the film, the farmer is carefully watching
his father, explaining to his wife that he "really
only knew my father when he had been worn down by life."
Once again, the message from the film is clear: Life
is a precious cycle, and constructive relationships are
what make it meaningful and hopeful.
"Field of Dreams" teaches: "What we
do, both the good and the generous, quite often we do
for ourselves." Giving can be a selfish act of caring.
Exhibiting such behaviors as honesty, partnership and
graciousness is an effective way of passing along life-affirming
values. There is no substitute for being a positive role
Our individual "Field of Dreams" is that portion
of the world for which we accept responsibility. The relationships
we build and sustain will be the true measure of who we
are and how we operate. If you build them
relationships - they will come. Invest the energy in people
and savor those heavenly moments when your dreams come