Gretchen Rubin

A Little Happier: There’s Such Joy in Giving Delight.

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It’s so interesting to me, what I remember. Of everything that I’ve seen, experienced, read, and learned, it’s so strange to see what sticks over time.

Here’s an example.

Back in 2009, the movie Avatar hit the movie theaters, and it caused a huge sensation. It was a giant blockbuster hit.

It’s a science fiction movie, set on the alien world Pandora, and the movie was famous for the extraordinary visual techniques it used to show this world and its people.

It was long—two hours and forty minutes. So a lot happened, and there’s a lot of beautiful imagery.

But I don’t remember anything about the movie at all, except for one moment. And it’s a moment that could’ve been filmed in the most ordinary way; it just captured an ordinary moment between two ordinary people.

I haven’t seen the movie since it came out, so I may not even be remembering this correctly! Let me know if I’m wrong.

But here’s what I remember. The main character, a human scientist named Jake, played by Sam Worthington, is arriving on the moon Pandora for the first time. He’s in a helicopter that’s piloted by Trudy Chacon, played by Michelle Rodriguez. Jake is glued to the helicopter window, he’s gazing in wonder at the splendor that’s all around him, and the pilot Trudy has a look on her face, she’s laughing…she has the beautiful look of joy we have when we’re showing somebody something that’s extraordinary. What a delight it is to be able to give that gift of showing.

Her look of pure joy is the only thing I remember from the whole movie.

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