Why Angelina Is One Of The Most Remarkable People

BY ANNETTE LANGE

Angelina Jolie is one of those actors who would have the ability, means and even the excuse to withdraw from any work or the public eye if she wanted. She could be satisfied with her success, after being deemed one of the most beautiful and rich women alive by the media, and having won the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.

She is an extremely busy and recognised woman, and I have no idea how she manages to balance everything. But all the awards and successes don’t seem to be enough to make her slow down.

Ever since shooting Lara Croft: Tomb Raider in Cambodia and her exposure to the worldwide humanitarian crises, she hasn’t stopped being involved in humanitarian causes.

Hollywood actress and Oscar winner, Angelina Jolie, looks at an Afghan refugee making bricks at a bricks kiln in the outskirts of Islamabad

Upon receiving the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, she shared in her speech:

“[My mother] was very clear that nothing would mean anything if I didn’t live a life of use to others.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ATgxOp31oI

Sure, Jolie didn’t always have the best reputation or set a great example. She’s always been considered a bit of a wild child. She’s been divorced three times, was accused of being a homewrecker, and the list goes on…

She doesn’t deny any of this, instead she recalls:

“I came into this business, young and worried about my own experiences and my own pain. And it was only when I began to travel and look and live beyond my home that I understand my responsibilities to others.”

She has gone above and beyond to take her mother’s advice seriously. She knows at the end of the day, what matters is not how good you’ve been in what you’ve done, but how you’ve used what you had to do good and love those around you.

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It’s such a common trap for one in the entertainment business to be self-absorbed and see a powerful performance, recognition or fame as the end goal.

When talking about her past, Jolie recalls being “absolutely self-destructive.” She continues, “I think a lot of young people in this business lose their way. You don’t know what is of value. You don’t know where you are. And you know something’s wrong, because it isn’t life as it actually is. It’s like living in some warped reality.”

She’s been exposed to the ‘real world’ with its cruelty and injustice, and she’s thrown herself right in to do something about it.

Her humanitarian efforts include the fight against the refugee crisis, conservation and community development, child immigration and education as well as human and women’s rights. Rather than just donating money and raising awareness about the crises, she’s determined to go there herself, visiting the respective people groups and taking time to hear their stories and giving them a voice.

I’m fascinated by her not stopping her involvement in film entirely. Now that she’s been exposed to more pressing matters, she could have seen the film industry as less important, but no.

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She is still doing what she loves. She acts, directs (shedding light on other actors), writes, and tells stories which challenge and encourage her audience, while being dedicated to her many humanitarian efforts.

Jolie isn’t perfect. She knows this, but she’s  trying to be the best she can be. Let’s cut her some slack, and use her as a source of inspiration instead of a target of criticism.

Are you living in a warped reality? Is it possible that you’re focused in achieving something that doesn’t matter at the end of the day? What legacy are you leaving behind? Is your life/art/craft of use to others?

Even though you probably won’t have the same means and resources as her, there’s always a way to invest in the lives of others and get a shift of perspective. Use Jolie’s willpower and drive as an inspiration.

 

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Growing Imagination

written by Keaton Evans

 

Imagine a small boy playing with cars in a sandbox on a sunny afternoon. See how he moves the cars through the sand, making the noises cars make and occasionally crashing them into each other, flinging sand everywhere as he laughs and screeches the whole time.

 

That little boy was me. Well, I’m not sure whether you specifically imagined me or not, but either way, that kid has a whole world developed and is so engrossed in it that he completely misses his mother calling him in for dinner. That part of the kid was not like me, I always heard my mother when she called.

 

That boy is at the prime of pure imagination. Lost in the beautiful world he’s created, he has not a care in the world. All he cares about is whether the racer will win or careen out of control into the grass.

 

This imagination, that comes so naturally to children, is what we should strive for as artists. Growing up we are told to bury it within us and to “grow up”. Myself and many others of the same mindset ask, “why”?

 

Even if our imagination is weak and not well developed, we all have one, and we can all learn how to cultivate and sharpen it, being able to use it in a moment’s notice. When it comes to writing, there is nothing as powerful as imagination.

 

Have Fun

 

Since around the age of five we are continually bombarded with the idea that we need to give up our “childish” imaginings and grow up.

 

I supressed my imagination so much while growing up that it became dull and unused. Anything I wrote lacked creativity and seemed flat. But as I grew up I realized how ironically important it is, for the health of the person alone, to have imagination. I took to stretching it more and devoted to developing it.

 

The best part about imagination is that it’s supposed to be fun. Let go of the notions you’ve grown up hearing and let loose all that you want to imagine. When you write, do you allow yourself to create something like a world run by pink polar bears? Or does that idea seem ridiculous? It’s not.

 

Don’t let logic try to sway you into thinking such notions are ridiculous. The world you create in your writing is whatever the heck you want it to be. The whole point of imagination is to create in your mind fantastical places, things, and events.

 

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Explore and try new things

 

My favourite forms of art are acting and writing. I thoroughly enjoy creating a character and telling a story, more than most things. But one thing I wanted to do more than anything was painting. I tried watercolour and acrylic and was astonished that trying a different form gave me new inspiration and helped cultivate my imagination.

 

I learned that you gotta be open and ready to try new things in order to develop a crisp imagination. If you limit yourself in what you do, then your imagination will also be limited.

 

In writing allow yourself to write about ridiculous things. Don’t just write comfortable things either, but try different writing techniques like poems, essays, short stories, scripts, etc. I have tried many different forms of writing and it has helped me to explore new perspectives as well.

 

If you explore new things in life as well, like places, activities, and cultures, it will benefit your imagination and help you create rich and wonderfully detailed worlds. Keep your eyes open for new things and different perspectives. Learn as much about life as you can and keep growing. These will also help you develop an ever-expanding imagination.#

 

Fear not

 

If there was one thing I could point out as being the absolute enemy to imagination and creativity it would be fear. Whether it’s being afraid that you’ll only face rejection as a writer, or that you’re somehow not good enough to write a story or whatever the reason, don’t be afraid.

 

There’s so much freedom when you’re not afraid and you allow yourself to be lost in your imagination. When you don’t focus on the troubles of this world but truly allow yourself to create a world and story, rich and detailed characters, that is where pure magic happens.

 

I struggle with fear big time. It kind of ties in with the first point about getting rid of this idea of right and wrong when it comes to the subjective concepts of imagination and creativity.

 

What I mean is that you really can’t make mistakes when you use imagination, it’s not like you have a specific guideline you have to follow and stick to, you simply imagine what you wish. When you understand that there’s no invisible criteria and no one can say that what you imagine is wrong, there lies the freedom of it.
“Imagination is more important than knowledge” -Einstein

 

 

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Don’t be afraid when using your imagination. Use it as much as you can! It’s completely subjective, don’t approach it in a black-and-white mindset. I encourage you to try new things. You may be surprised how new art forms challenge you and grow you. Don’t make the mistake I made as a young artist by being afraid.

 

Imagination is a beautiful thing. If you practice it, if you develop it, and move not in fear but in fun, then it will take you to places that are truly unimaginable.