The people around us


Barrack Obama (in the 80’s)

Time to read: 2 mins.

Last night I watched the movie Barry.  A quick synopsis: Barrack Obama arrives in New York City in the early eighties as a college student at Columbia University as he tries to find his own identity and his place in life.   To be honest I found the movie a little underwhelming. At least those were my initial thoughts on the movie…


Barry covers themes of identity, race, perceptions and how we label others.  One of the biggest takeaways was how Barrack was surrounded by a wide array of people early on in his life, wealthy, poor, educated and lost. And while these people have some influence on him, Barry never conforms to anyone’s philosophy or way of living.


There are numerous long scene’s that don’t drive the narrative forward. Instead, it shows Barrack getting lost in his own thoughts where he is either sitting on a park bench, looking out on to the cityscape, smoking a cigarette, or reading a book in the library;



The people around us

As many bad influences that are around Barry, he also had some good ones. He is able to see people them for who they are, the circumstances that they are in and what drives them.


In those scenes that I mentioned above, I wondered what Barrack is thinking about.  Was it his own background?  And should that determine what his own direction going forward? Without that clarity and definition of who he is, Barrack struggles to connect with anyone around him.



Finding you and connect with others

As I tried to relate to Barrack in the 1980’s, I found that our situation is analogous to what we see in the movie Barry.  That’s if we are interested in connecting with others.  In Melbourne, 49% are either born overseas or have at least one parent who is born overseas. We come from more than 200 countries, speak over 250 languages and dialects and follow over 130 religions.


Like Barrack in the early 80’s in New York, we should evaluate the unique experiences that we bring as individuals and the values we hold. In the same light, we should also seek the insights that others can provide us not just in the workplace but also in life.

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