In my quest to see 156 movies this year, I've come up with a theory. As theories go, I think it's a pretty good one, although not very scientific. But it "arrived through speculation or conjecture," so it fits the dictionary definition of theory, and here it is: life is rated R. It begins with a G rating, although if you really want to go back to the very beginning, one could argue that it begins with an X rating, but we'll say G, starting from birth. As a baby grows and journies through life, the force and influence of the rated R future slowly presses in. Molding this young G-rated life into a PG-13 life. As I think about how and why this happens, I am saddened. In a perfect world, there would be no R-rated life, our existence would be how it was originally designed to be: no harsh language, no violence, no drug abuse, which are all evidence and symptoms of the real problems... greed, lust, and selfishness. But as it is now, we do not grow into the rated R life, the rated R life grows into us. And that is sad. Think back to when you were 9 or 10... most of what you learn is from adults, right? Yes, you learn from your peers quite a bit when you are young, but even your peers have learned it from somewhere else. Adults. With the rated R life. I'm not saying every adult is at fault for innocent lives being corrupted, but surely every adult is responsible for the growth and/or starvation of the R-rated lifestyle. Concerning the generations coming up behind us, I suppose, as adults, we are either flaming the fire or shielding them from it. As an uncle of 6, I've been able to watch babies turn into young children. And I am feeling this strong urge to shield them, to protect them, to make it my responsibility (at least when I am with them) to guard their innocence, to keep their lives G-rated as long as possible. Why would I want anything else for them? Think about it, movies that are rated R have nudity, violence, danger, hard language, drug abuse and more. Which movie have you seen that's rated R because the characters were involved in excessive giving? Or being too selfless? Or for lengthy non-violent scenes? Or for consistent use of kind language? None! Here's what I'm getting at: the elements that make a movie rated R are not and cannot be positive. So why would anyone subject, or even help, the next generation experience this? But this is not about the movie rating system. It's about real life.
Like my title says, life is rated R... for me, and I bet for you, too. We should not try to hide from reality, because reality is simply that life is rated R. And there are some really great movies out there that have captured the challenge that life is... and sometimes it is violent, sometimes it does have adult material, sometimes it has colorful language because we are all human, and we are all trying to make sense of the world and the life we live. And when it get's tough, you know what? That's life, and life... is rated R. The good news, though, like every great movie, is that there is hope... and it is this: to find the one who can be your guardian through the R-rated moments of life. Then, and only then, will the life you lead have the happiest of endings.