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The Gravity in Gravity

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Spoilers ahead

One of the most moving scenes in the hit film Gravity, starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, is in the final moments. The script follows Ryan Stone, an engineer, whose career path unexpectedly puts her on a space shuttle doing repairs. She's paired with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski. Things go very wrong. Ryan must jump from point to point -- whether to a vessel, a station, or an oxygen tank -- and survive long enough to make the journey to the next point.

Each destination is accompanied by dangerous debris, reduced levels of oxygen, and the strong chance she may not survive. The entire film is driven by the journey to return safely from space back to earth and re-enter a state of gravity. In the final scene, Ryan, firmly places her feet in the sand, relishes the terra firma and lifts her hands to the sky in expression of gratitude, triumph and celebration.

Yet, in my mind, the film is about transcending gravity; the quest to live life a few feet off the ground. The Kaballah teaches that growth and impact emerge from living outside our comfort zone and taking a leap of faith. The ground offers security but the most memorable moments in life and fulfillment arise when we strive to live a little higher and brighter.

The movie's theme is universal and personal. The root word of Gravity is grave. We all face moments of misfortune, despair and struggle. We seem to be thrust into darkness and uncertainty. We may despair. However, it is precisely during those times when if we courageously take a leap, we will generate rebirth and hope. It is an anti-gravity moment.

Ryan learns something more.

In the heart of the film when Ryan faces her mortality, she wonders who will remember her. She ponders whether life is worth living. She is haunted and ultimately comforted by the memory of her deceased child.

In the crucible of this inner struggle, Matt appears to her in a vision. He pushes her to transcend the "gravity" of the loss, take a chance and reinvest in her future. He helps her unlock the fortitude and faith to survive and thrive.

When Ryan finally lands on the ground, rubs her feet in the sandy beach and stands tall, she relishes the new opportunity to live a little higher. She hopes to forge new friendships, take on new challenges and risks to realize her potential and transform her life.

The final word on the screen is Gravitybut it is her and our anti-gravity moment. She and we understand that the more we live a few feet off the ground, the more each of us will lead lives worthy of memory, celebration and eternal impact.