health life lessons movies

Anticipating the recoil

I watched the 2010 version of True Grit the other day

While there were many fine performances in the film, the most memorable was from Hailee Steinfeld – the actor played Mattie Ross, the 14 year-old girl out to avenge her father’s murder. While we could focus on many aspects of the film: the quirky storyline; the Coen brothers as directors; the on-screen chemistry among the main actors – I’m going to look at just one thing.


Why? Recoil is that force that shows up when fire a gun. You might recall that little principal from high school physics –

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

This is known as Newton’s third law of motion. Why talk about it? Well, after viewing the film, I got to thinking about how knowledge and anticipation of recoil could have helped Mattie Ross. It could help you, too.

How? In Mattie’s case – perhaps she would have braced herself differently when she pulled the trigger on that rifle. Perhaps she would not have tumbled into that snake-infested cave. Not been bitten by that viper. Not lost her arm. She might have had a very different life; hard to say – I’ve never written a screenplay.

For the rest of us, being able to anticipate the likely outcome to a choice or an action could come in handy. We might:

  • choose our words more carefully
  • make healthier choices
  • stay on the path towards our goals more consistently

Even if we’ve had trouble with this up to now, my work suggests that we can learn a different way, and move in the direction of a more satisfying life. Over the course of the next several days & weeks, notice how you resist the urge to ignore this important information. Notice how you begin to alter your direction – and end up in a better place.
Is there a movie that taught you an interesting life lesson? Pass it along to me, if you have a moment. Thanks!

By Terry Moore

Terry Moore, MSW, LICSW is an Independently Licensed Clinical Social Worker in private practice in Omaha, NE. He provides psychotherapy and pain management to adults, often utilizing Hypnosis. He is an Approved Training Consultant - through the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis [ASCH], the same body that issues his Certification in Hypnosis.