For those of you who have not seen Firefly or Serenity, the quote this post is named for comes from it. I have learned more from watching that show about morality and human error than almost anywhere else.
And it deserves at least one post from me.
Just a warning, this post contains spoilers. But those spoilers are included for the sake of getting a point across. So if you don’t like spoilers, go watch Serenity right now. Then come back and read my post.
The basic premise of the show concerns space cowboys. Captain Malcolm Reynolds pilots a small crew of five who occasionally cart passengers. They take on a doctor, another man and a Shepard (that era’s equivalent of a Father).
If you want a further explanation of the plot, rent (or buy!) the season and the movie. My post addresses one of the sermons Book gives Mal.
In the movie Serenity Mal and his crew come to rest on a planet called Haven. They seek refuge to hide River, one of their “passengers” from the ever powerful Alliance, who up until recently had her in their possession. Book’s message for Mal is a message I am trying to take to heart, and feel that we all need to adopt.
Mal: I could’ve left her there. I had an out. Hell I had every reason in the verse to leave her lay and haul anchor.
Book: It’s not your way, Mal.
Mal:I have a way? that better than a plan?
Book:Only one thing is gonna walk you through this, Mal. Belief.
Mal: You know I always look to you for counsel, but sermons make me sleepy, Shepard. I ain’t looking for help from on high. That’s a long wait for a train don’t come.
Book: When I talk about belief, why do you always assume I’m talking about God?
They’ll come at you sideways. It’s how they think. It’s how they move. Sidle up and smile. Hit you where you’re weak. Sort of man they’re like to send believes hard. Kills and never asks why.
Mal:It’s of interest to me how much you seem to know about that world.
Book: I wasn’t born a Shepard, Mal.
Mal:Have to tell me about that sometime.
Book: No, I don’t.
Much later in the movie, then return to Haven for shelter, only to find that the Alliance has pillaged the planet. Mal finds Book, bleeding out of his stomach, about to die. Mal takes Book in his arms, tells him the doctor’s going to fix him up. Right before he dies, Book grabs onto Mal and says “I don’t care what you believe. Just believe it!”
I wish I had a clip to offer. This scene means so much more after watching it than just hearing the words.
Belief is a strong power. Here, Book tells Mal of the Operative. The Operative is an evil man who knows that what he is doing is evil, but he does it because he believes there is a greater cause. He does unspeakable things because of the strength of this believe.
Honestly, I think this message is the whole point of Serenity. Without it, Mal and his crew stand no chance. But with it, with the pure strength of belief that your purpose means something worth fighting for, well…they loosen the harsh control of the Alliance. People end up knowing where their monsters come from.
I believe that the world needs faith. They need a cause to believe in, or all is lost. I believe in giving my fellow friends a light, a shining beacon to guide them through the filth and sorrow sunk into every corner of this world.
I believe in a better tomorrow through education and action. I believe that everyone with a body is entitled to the same basic human rights as any privileged, white man ever had.
And I pledge to use that belief to touch the world.
“I don’t care what you believe. Just believe it!”