“In critical moments of choice,” Iris Murdoch observes, “most of the business of choosing is already done.” That’s one reason that, in democracies, citizens are wise to carefully examine the background and established habits of political leaders. The same principle is true in business, where despite the soundest of institutional checks established by first-generation CEOs, the character of the second- or third-generation CEO still matters. “Character Above All,” as Peggy Noonan puts it.
Of course, this insight is just as true for the little people among us—an insight beautifully portrayed in this haunting, much-deserving winner of V&C’s 2014 student iNRB video competition. The five-minute visual story is compelling precisely because it so clearly depicts our cultural malaise—and the fact that despite confusion, hope remains. An expectant couple deliberating over what to name their child in the womb finds themselves at odds with present-day reality, and as she rests he tunes into the nightly news before taking a consequential, clarifying run the next morning. How does the story end?
You’ll have to watch to find out. I hope you do:
As tensions today escalate in the Crimean peninsula, this five-minute tale of sacrifice and hope holds forth with piercing clarity the enduring truth of Deuteronomy 30:19: “I have set before you: life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, in order that you may live—you and your descendants.”