Jim Halpert: A Dying Breed
Brothers and Sisters, I submit to you today a long awaited blog entry. I have wanted to submit this post, but I have not had the guts to even begin drafting it because my thoughts weren't assembled before now (I understand that this comes from a person that writes about Back to the Future, Jimmy Fallon, New York City, and Toy Story 3 in four short paragraphs). But here's the scoop, as much as I'll scoop it.
There is an epidemic running rampant in our society and perhaps our world, although I have not ventured out enough to know for sure. However, in our society, I'm 100% sure of it:
We are arrogant and selfish and not self-deprecating in the least. The most we say badly about ourselves is, "I went to bed so late last night, stupid me," or "Did I say that? My bad," with an insincere look on our faces. I have spoken with many people lately that have a common disillusionment with the idea of charitable love or even in the existence of good people. I have long considered why this is the case. My research went deeper when I realized it's the case with me now as well. I find that I don't trust most people and feel that everyone is capable and quite ready to stab me square in the back or take the thing that I most wanted without remorse. Indeed, most people I talk with now don't believe in the idea of a faithful relationship. They believe that men cheat and never change, women whine and always want better, and everyone thinks the world of themselves. Most men say they could have any girl and begin to genuinely believe it. Unfortunately, because these are the pervasive thoughts, they are also the truth.
So, I submit to my readers a television character by the name of Jim Halpert. He is the quirky, shrewd and lovable salesman in NBC's The Office. Now, if you have a pulse, you like Jim Halpert--maybe even a lot. If you have a heart, you love him --man or woman. And this is not just because he's the so-called "everyman" character that we are all supposed to identify with (although we should). We love him because he's an honest to goodness human being that is portrayed as humble, self-deprecating, thoughtful, self-aware, kind, flawed, goofy and not afraid to show humility.
I've always wondered why so many women, including myself, have been captivated by this character. It's not the looks, although I think that John Krasinski (the actor that plays him) is good looking. Looks alone are not enough to keep such a loyal following of both men and women viewers. If this were the case then shows like Las Vegas would have lasted longer because that Josh Duhamel is such a dreamboat (a matter of some people's opinion, but he's a good example to prove my theory about Jim Halpert isn't busted).
Jim Halpert starts out as middle management, maybe below it even. He is positive, he is goofy, he's lovable, he teases, he innocently flirts with no intention of succeeding, and he isn't afraid to suggest that he may not have the answers. With a wry sense of humor, but a genuine care for those around him, he is not the every man; he is what I believe to be the ideal; what we should all strive for. Sure, perfection is the real goal, but his qualities are a great step in that direction.
In one of the most recent seasons, Jim finds that he may or may not have just ruined his fiancee's parent's marriage by speaking out of turn. Instead of taking the stance of most people (myself included) and becoming defensive, standoffish, angry, or even fleeing when his fiancee confronts him about it, he is genuinely concerned about what he may have said, genuinely embarrassed, and humbly suggests to his fiancee that he may be guilty. He seems to submit himself for the scrutiny and criticism and quite frankly the ruin that is ahead of him in the event that what he said does implicate him and that it ruins the beautiful future he had laid out for himself with the love of his life. But his vanity doesn't get in the way in these scenes, his arrogance doesn't overcome him to the point of telling her that if she's got a problem, it's not his. And he doesn't run away like a coward from the truth. He stands in place, and in the last moments, after his fiancee has gotten the full story from her father, Jim asks, "What did he say? Was it my fault?" eyes wide, misty, and full of humility in the fear of losing her. He doesn't walk away like its her problem, he doesn't snap at her in defensiveness, he merely exhibits the qualities that should be prevalent in all of us. My sisters and friends and I have philosophized about this scene and these characteristics for hours. I have heard so many people in my life explain hard situations they have gone through when arrogance and pride dominated, and that is what brings this topic to my mind recently---that, and I'm home right now, so I have a lot of time to think about life in the abstract.
When I was twelve years old my teachers asked me to make a list of things I wanted my husband to be like when I grew up. I found that list when I got home the other day. I said I wanted him to be humble and kind (and maybe a few more things about good looks, etc). I think that the writer's of that show have it figured out in regards to that character. They understand the flaws, and the hardships, and the honest to goodness mistakes. But they also understand the proper responses to those situations if we're to be truly redeemable and worthwhile people. Yep, his wife in the show snagged a good one. I think we should all be able to learn to become that good one, and hopefully we all can be married to that good one as well.
I hope humility isn't a lost virtue. I hope being humble isn't now something that girls have to consider, "unrealistic," when thinking of their ideal relationships.
Thanks for reading, I know it was long, but it was and is important to me.
Love to all.