When I was sick and lying in bed about a fortnight ago, I watched a Hong Kong movie named ‘Heaven in the Dark ‘online which got me writing this post (watch it with subtitles even if you don’t know Cantonese!). This movie came out earlier this year and seemed a bit religious if you just look at its background, but there is more to that and watching it may get us re-think about one common trait many people all share irrespective of their religious views – self vanity.
In short, the story is about a boss of a big company who is harsh at work, but is popular and respectful when he serves at church as a priest every Sunday. Although the priest has ordered his employees not to attend his church, the young pretty rookie at his company who is the main girl in this movie keeps going there. The two of them keep bumping into each other and eventually they have a dinner date. After dinner, the priest with the girl in his car drives to a remote area and they have a French kiss but the girl sues the priest for sexual harassment later on and has succeeded at court. She has married another respectful priest in the end whilst the priest’s reputation was let down by this, has to do small businesses by meeting clients talking in vulgar language, binge-drinking, smoking, and has given up his religious faith.
簡而言之，故事講述的是一個大公司的老闆，他工作時待人嚴苛，但是每個星期天在教堂擔任牧師的時候，他具有人氣和尊重。 雖然牧師命令他的員工不要參加他的教會，這部電影的女主角雖然剛到他公司司上班的「菜鳥」，年輕漂亮的她卻違背老闆命令，堅持繼續去他的教會。 他們兩個總是會碰上大家，而最終他們約好一天吃晚餐。 晚飯後，女主角在牧師的汽車裡，牧師開車到偏遠地區，之後就有了一個「法吻」（法式濕吻），但女孩後來起訴控告牧師性騷擾，並在法庭上成功了。 她最後成為人妻，嫁了另一個受尊敬的牧師，而本來身兼老闆和牧師的男主角聲譽就破產了，變成一個小商人，必須會見客戶，說著粗言穢語，瘋狂飲酒，吸煙去社交而談得生意，他也放棄了他的宗教信仰。
The movie tells us that in the end both of them feel guilty, with the girl having lied at court when she in fact kissed the priest willingly, and she was trying to take a revenge really as the priest was drunk that after the French kiss; he said to the girl that she must be a demon sent to him to test him and she is nothing but a whore. However, the girl believes that she is right in suing the priest until the ending of the movie when she bursts into tears and prays for forgiveness. As for the priest, he used to think that he is very righteous as a respectful leader at church, admired by many female church attendees, and cannot understand the reason behind the girl suing her for only having been kissed; he thought it was nothing but just a kiss while the girl argued in court that this brought her psychological harm.
電影結局告訴我們，最後兩方都感到內疚，當女主角在法庭撒謊，而當她事實上親吻牧師是她自願的，那是因為她要報復；法吻後的牧師喝醉了， 他對女孩說，她肯定是一個想帝派來去測試他的惡魔，她只是「一隻雞」（妓女）。 然而，女孩認為她是出於正義去起訴牧師，直到電影要結束時她才突然哭泣和祈求寬恕。 至於牧師，他過去認為他是非常公義的，作為一個尊敬的教會領導，許多女教友都欽佩他，不能理解這個女人就為了一個吻而控告自己背後的原因; 他認為這只不過是一個吻罷，而女主角在法庭上就說這帶來了心理傷害。
I see how it all comes down to self vanity. The girl lied for being called a whore by someone she really admires, believes that she can play the role of justice to punish the priest with this method. The priest has always been regarded as someone on the moral high ground, being careful with his public image, but in his heart, whether he is aware of it or not, he belittles female and speaks out his true feelings after he got drunk.
我看到這一切都歸結於自大。 一個女孩撒謊是因為自己被一個原本她崇拜的人稱為「雞」，相信她法庭上的行為可以發揮正義的作用，用這種方法懲罰牧師。 牧師一直被認為自己是站在道德高地上的人，小心形造他的公眾形象，但在他的心裡，無論他知道與否，他其實看不起女性，在醉酒後說出他的真實感受。
Next time when we accuse someone else, maybe we should think first if we have forgotten that maybe subconsciously, we have lied or put up a false image in front of many persons and think that we can judge people as being better than them. Those who are not church-goers may find it more offensive or give heavier criticisms when a Christian does something which is bad in their eyes. After all, all humans are sinners, meaning that we are all vain in a way or another. This is a good educational movie for Christians too if you ask me, for many Christians would easily think that they are more morally upright than non-believers when in fact, Christians make many mistakes. Christians are called Christians because they believe in God the holy trinity, and they shall try to improve on themselves morally just like strive to work hard on any other things.
下一次當我們指責別人時，也許我們應該先思考，我們忘記了在潛意識的領導下，我們說謊或偽造許多人前的好形象，認為我們可以批評別人因為我們比他們更好。 那些不是教會中人可能會覺得當基督徒做了在他們眼中不好的事時，感覺比别的人更冒犯，或者，給予更重的批評。 畢竟，所有的人都是罪人，這意味著我們都以某種方式在表現自己的自大。 如果你問我，這電影對基督徒來說是一部很好的教育電影，因為許多基督徒很容易認為他們比非信徒更道德高尚，而事實上，基督徒犯了許多錯誤。 基督徒被稱為基督徒，因為他們相信上帝，聖潔的三位一體，要去努力改善自己的道德，就像努力工作於任何其他事情上。
Of course I I know I feel vain sometimes too, for I judge both others and myself. However if just talk about my mental problems, I tend to undervalue myself. I discover that as I have been improving from my mental problems and building up my confidence over this year, which means I start to encourage myself that maybe I can do this and that, I feel less upset. Instead of feeling vain as to feel that I am such a good person, I can’t stop but to blame myself for being a bad person who would be unwanted by anyone, and then Christians would blame me more to say I cannot fulfil many rules. I guess this is about learning to love myself more, and to give thanks to have the love from others, and from God. It is very painful every now and then I still sometimes think of something and I get frustrated and hatred against myself. For example, even today I still sometimes question if depression is a punishment and then have to get so tired by repeating to myself that it isn’t, and yet still lament to the weird emptiness in my heart. Maybe just take the approach to judge but to judge with compassion for now- both myself and the others.
當然，我知道我有時候也會自大，因為我會批判他人和自己。 但是，如果只是談論我的精神問題，我傾向於低估自己。 我發現，由於我今年一直在改善我的精神問題，並建立我對自己的信心，意思是我開始鼓勵自己，也許我可以做到不同的東西，我開始感到沒那麼難過了。 代替會覺得我是一個好人而自大，我反而不能停止責怪自己是一個壞人，沒何人想要我，然後基督徒們又會責怪我更多，說我不能做好許多的規則 。 我想這是關於學習更多去愛自己，並感謝他人的愛，和從上帝以來的愛。 我時不時非常會想起一些事情，我對自己會感到沮喪和仇恨自己。 例如說，時至今日，我有時仍審問自己抑鬱症會否是我的懲罰，之後又要好疲累地去重複地說服自己說不是的，但又為自己心裡面奇怪的空虛感哀悼。也許可採取的方法是去判斷的話，就以同理心去判斷 – 無論我自己或其他人。
One last thought…actually each person has a scar that is better not to be touched on and revealed to others, and so self-vanity is the shield to it. If you know what the scar of a person is, then it may be good to stay silent from mentioning it.
It is getting cold at where I live but ‘it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas’ (get the Michael Bublé’s Christmas playlist running)! Please stay warm.
在我住的地方愈來愈寒冷了，但 「it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas」(要開始聽 Michael Bublé 的聖誕節歌單了)！請注意保暖。