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What The Blue Butterfly Can Teach You

Posted by Thaneshwar on मार्च 17, 2008

What would you say to a terminally ill 10-year-old boy who has a dream of catching the most beautiful butterfly in the world?
-Dream on

-Sorry, that’s impossible

The movie, The Blue Butterfly, is a classic quest tale, in the same category as the one of King Arthur’s knights and the Holy Grail. The Blue Butterfly is a beautiful, powerful story with a lot of depth. It touches on many subjects that are vital to manifesting our dreams, especially demonstrating how having the courage and perseverance to live our dreams pays off.

Everything Starts With A Dream

The film opens with Pete, who is in the terminal stages of brain cancer and confined to a wheelchair, is being taken by his mother to hear a lecture. Pete’s father was killed in a car crash some years before, and so Pete lives alone with his mother. His dream is to catch the most beautiful butterfly on earth, the mythic and elusive Blue Morpho.

The lecture Pete and his mother are going to is being delivered by the eminent entomologist, Dr. Alan Osborne, who is Pete’s hero. A few weeks prior to this evening’s lecture, Pete had been bombarding Osborne with phone messages, begging the entomologist to take him on an expedition to Central America before the Morpho season ends. Pete desperately wants to take this trip while he is still well enough to travel.

sborne refuses. He is clearly not a person who finds it easy to do things for other people. As Pete’s desperation grows, however, Osborne reluctantly and somewhat gracelessly gives in to the boy’s request during a final three-way confrontation between himself, Pete and Pete’s mom.

The entomologist’s agreement to fulfill Pete’s ultimate wish takes them both on a life-and-death adventure that will transform their lives.

Osborne guides Pete and his mom deep into the rain forest, where they set up a base camp and meet with the local group of Indians, the Bribri, whose myths and legends claim they are descendants of the Blue Butterfly. The elusive Blue Morpho evades capture day after day. On the last auspicious to collect a specimen, Alan’s runs through the jungle chasing the elusive Blue Morpho with the boy on his shoulders. Could it be that the rarest and most beautiful butterfly on earth is toying with its would-be captors?

Based on Actual Events

Perhaps more to the point, however, is the fact that the events depicted in the movie actually happened in fact. In real life, a world-renowned entomologist did carry a boy suffering from terminal cancer into the jungle in order to fulfill the boy’s most cherished dream. In real life, upon his return to civilization, the boy’s cancer miraculously went into remission. Today in fact, at the age of 22 that butterfly- chasing boy is now a healthy young man who is free of cancer.

In the film, William Hurt plays Alan Osborne, the entomologist. In real life, the man is the renowned entomologist Georges Brossard. Meeting Brossard was a terrifying experience for William Hurt. “This guy is outrageously alive! His enthusiasm is overwhelming. He did something very brave. I was inspired by his spirit,” Hurt continues, “director Lea Pool really resisted sentimentalizing everything, and that is one of the film’s greatest strengths.” Francine Allaire, the film’s producer, comments, “we wanted to make a film that could touch everyone’s heart. I imagined people of all ages and origins believing that life is worth living and that miracles do exist, that love can transform people.”

Follow The Power of Your Dreams

This story gives us insight into what we need to live our dreams. Setting our sights on something is a powerful motivation. For Pete, the goal of catching the beautiful butterfly was symbolic of what he most wanted for himself—to live. Everyone had given up on him except his mother. The butterfly and the trip itself was his hope for the future. Deep lessons were learned by all involved in this goal of affirmation. His mother, ever protective of her ailing son, learned how to let go. Osborne, for all his rough edges, in finding the way to express his tender admiration for the young adventurer and to give himself over to the selfless application of helping another achieve something great, had to learn to open his heart to love. I hope this story gives you a newfound zest for life, and maybe even spawns a dream of your own.

No Risk – No Fun

Life has changed since the time when most of us did not live in cities. Thing now are regulated and perfectly set up. Our lives, once dominated by huge forces beyond our control, like the weather and the migrations of animals, are much more regular and controlled. It’s like a machine that never stops running. In the old days we were exposed to many dangerous situations, and life was more of a challenge. That life of challenges forced us to evolve and helped us face our fears in much concrete ways than we often do today. In today’s world, the challenge is to live your dreams. It is the challenge to not get wrapped up in useless and meaningless daily activities that do not support your spirit. It requires you to step out of the ‘machine’ and reconnect with what your heart desires.

Courtesy: Dream Manifesto


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