What’s your Spark?

Whats your Spark?

Ryan Bendersky, Editorial Staff

The reason I love Disney movies so much is that they can take on such deep topics and turn them into beautiful stories built for children and adults alike such as discovering the value of negative emotions in Inside Out and confronting segregation and stereotyping in Zootopia. This feature of Disney movies is also greatly shown through one of my favorite recents, Soul.
Soul depicts a middle-aged music teacher named Joe Gardner (voiced by Jamie Foxx) who dreams of becoming a jazz legend and thinks that is his sole purpose in life. After many years, he one day lands a gig that may cause his career to take off, but suddenly he is taken from his body and transported to a strange land filled with souls that lie between Earth and the afterlife. The main purpose of this land is to take unborn souls and prepare them for life on earth by finding their spark which is seen as a main interest and reason to live. Joe must find his way out and back to his body while dealing with the rambunctious Soul #22 who refuses to find her spark and go to Earth.
The reason this movie interests me so much is that it takes the concept of a purpose in life and makes it something to think deeply about; it’s really a concept with no true solution as the question goes unanswered throughout the film. This topic has been moving the gears of my mind lately in that it’s something that is extremely hard to grasp yet I find great curiosity in. A big part of this story is how Joe confuses the meaning of “spark” with “purpose”. He thinks the “spark” is something one is inherently born to do and is one’s meaning in life; this is far from the truth.
One’s spark may be described in many ways. Medium.com’s review of Soul states that the spark “…is really the “spark of life” — the enthusiasm to live for the sake of living. The “spark” is being able to live in the moment and appreciate it with all your soul.” In other words, it is the force that makes one feel like they are truly living. The spark is not necessarily just a choice of career or activity; it could be helping others or eating pizza. I feel as long as each human lives on Earth that one day they will find their “spark of life”, and cherish it.

Bendersky, acting as an engineer in training, is shown helping the middle schoolers of St. Mary’s in their Robotics Club

Now, this topic is something immense to think about and may be stressed over by some who have not yet thought of their place in life, but it isn’t something one should stress over. The spark is bound to occur, yet one may not know when it does. Many other students at MV have decided what they want to devote their life to after high school and it’s honestly scary thinking about it. Some will fail, and others will succeed.
Since middle school, I’ve been amazed by the career of an engineer, and I’ve wanted to be an engineer since then. Though what I plan to go into is engineering, I don’t think that’s necessarily my spark, I think my spark is leading others. Not exactly teaching or helping others, but being able to be among others as a peer and be able to utilize all their skills to solve problems and manage projects. I love being a leader and seeing others get to their fullest potential and seeing us collectively succeed— it’s immensely fulfilling to me.
So whether one believes they’ve found their spark or not, I believe Disney Pixar Studios has created a film that suggests everyone lives on to achieve and seek inspiration and purpose but not stress over it like Joe Gardner did; let it happen as one lives their life.