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SUPPORT: “Sometimes you really can’t listen to what anybody else says. You just got to listen inside.”

Movie quote from: October Sky (1999) - Miss Riley (Laura Dern)

octoberIn the moving 1999 film, October Sky, Homer Hickham wants to build rockets.  His Dad wants him to work in the coal mine.  The pressures of life are not in Homer’s favor as he pursues his growing love of model rocketry.  It takes a teacher to encourage him to dream bigger than his own community would allow.  This is the great power of a supportive mentor in a person’s life. 

Homer discovered his interest in rocketry when he spotted the Russian satellite Sputnik orbiting the Earth in 1957.  The sense of possibility that filled Homer’s spirit was a stark contrast to the hard life he lived in a West Virginian mining town.  His peers make fun of him for wanting to send objects into space.  His hard-nosed Dad sees Homer’s newfound interest as a waste of time and a direct conflict to his own wishes for his son to follow in the footsteps of his father.  This almost kills Homer’s pursuit of space, that final frontier. 

Miss Riley, one of Homer’s teachers, provides him with a different point of view.  She encourages him to compete in a regional science fair and to further develop his knowledge and skills in space rocketry.  After quitting school to work in the mine and gain his father’s favor, Homer returns to his true interest thanks to the persistent support from Miss Riley.  It is ironic that it took someone else to encourage Homer to listen to himself.                  

Other people influence the person you become.  When pursuing personal dreams, it is always wise to find a quality mentor like Miss Riley to counteract the dream killers with their own agendas for defining your future.  But take no guidance as gospel.  The final decisions about your own unfolding story belong to no one else but you.  You’re the only one who will be with you all your life.  You might as well make it a great one.   

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