'Please Stand By' - A Lesson In What Makes Us Human

by - April 16, 2018

Please Stand By tells the poignant story of Wendy, a young woman on the autistic spectrum who has spent years living under social care, having been placed there by her loving, but unable-to-cope sister. Craving independence, she decides to take on her first solo trip by travelling to Los Angeles in order to fulfil her long-term goal of submitting the Star Trek manuscript she spent months writing. Scared about making the biggest move of her life, she does it anyway, because her dreams are worth fighting for. Facing challenges she never had to face before, Wendy wants to prove to herself and others that she is capable of taking care of herself and living according to her own rules.

"Captain, the only logical way which to go is forward."

I found Wendy's tenacity and sense of the world inspiring. We follow her story through a sequence of adventures, struggles, but also perseverance. No matter the obstacles Wendy has to overcome, she doesn't think of going back. The scope of her determination is unfolded as her journey to reclaiming her independence and taste of autonomy is unravelled.

"The future is to be conquered, not feared."

She is a refreshing and raw example of what persistence looks like outside of the traditional, "hustle" world we often see represented on the big and small screen. She is not your typical, cookie-cutter heroine, she keeps surprising us, but she also keeps surprising herself by her abilities to overcome difficulties. Everyone has the human right to dream, desire and aspire. And so does Wendy. She might not be allowed many freedoms in her daily life, she might dislike her job, but she can keep writing and dream of winning the Star Trek scriptwriting contest.

Her journey subtly hints at a lesson that we often forget. People can be different from us and have differently wired brains, methods of thinking and behaving, sometimes to a point where we can't understand them. Yet they are people, humans like us and we should make better attempts to quieten our biases, pre-conceived perceptions and give them more than one chance. 

Similarly to Wendy's sister, Audrey, we are scared to give others more than an opportunity, resting on our convictions that we know better, because we're considered "normal" and often forgetting that there's no really such thing. The film offered us something as beautiful as Wendy's quest, it's Audrey's newfound way of seeing her sister as the person she is - creative, full of awe and growing.

I hope your day is full of love and inspiration!

In Arts & Entertainment we will try to turn off our hard-working brains and deal with the less-exhausting prospect of our leisure time. Here we will talk about all things visual: new exhibitions, books and movies that made or failed to make an impression and also discuss what example the popular culture and our society give us - when is healthy to follow it and when to say enough.

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