Story Of True Abandonment – Les Miserables


Story Of True Abandonment – Les Miserables - Wisdom's Webzine


In our life, we accumulate so many things in our mind: what happened today, yesterday, a week ago, a month ago and so on. In addition, we live with so many kinds of mind, such as the attachment to money and material things, greed to live better than others, wanting to be recognized by others, the attachment to the body, and most of all, the pride to keep “me.”I don’t even know who I am and yet,I live life only to become the past that has been accumulating in my mind without any meaning. We believe something bad might happen if that self disappears. We hold on to that self and even at this moment, we accumulate the mind – the human mind.

However, if you ask yourself the question ‘what would be the meaning of my life?” what kind of answer do you get from yourself? Would there be any true meaning to the life that you lived so hard only for yourself?

The film Les Miserables portrays the deep introspection of a man who has chosen the direction completely opposite of the life that everyone regards ordinary. It is a musical drama film adapted from a novel by Victor Hugo. For me, it is a very heart-touching film that rings deep for those who meaninglessly live only for “the self” forgetting about their original nature. Among so many attractive characters, the most inspiring character is Jean Valjean, the main character.

Story Of True Abandonment – Les Miserables - Wisdom's WebzineEven after serving a sentence for 20 years, he is branded as a “parolee.” His mind becomes full of hatred and rage during this time. The punishment for having stolen a piece of bread was too harsh, but after achieving his freedom, the social structure will bring a new trial: In this society, he is no longer behind bars,but he is still not convinced that he can be free. Within a never-ending vicious cycle, the love gives Jean Valjean an opportunity to examine his inner self. While reflecting on himself, he realizes that the self he knew as Jean Valjean was just an illusion of the past. He then decides to let go of this self of the past.

How would you feel if you had lived the same life in the same environment as Jean Valjean? Because of a piece of bread, you lose your youth entirely to a terrifying prison life with labor. After being paroled, you would still have to live in a prison without bars.

However, Jean Valjean lets go of his self from the past where there was only resentment and rage and now can for other people as a new person. For Fantine who is dying on a cold street, he makes her last wish come true even at the risk of his personal safety. For Cosette who had a miserable childhood, Jean Valjean becomes her father for the rest of his life and devotes everything to her. Moreover, to keep her happiness, he even saves a young boy Marius who has lost consciousness due to a severe injury caused by a rain of bullets.

Story Of True Abandonment – Les Miserables - Wisdom's Webzine


If I were Jean Valjean, I would have hated Inspector Javert with resentment. However, Jean Valjean had such a big mind that he could see the world from Javert’s viewpoint. If the terrifying memories he has accumulated in his mind had controlled him, it may have not been possible at all. His sublime characteristics – accepting why Javerthad to act in that way – touched many people’s hearts. Jean Valjean even embraced Javert’s belief and saved his life. Jean Valjean has truly abandoned himself and lived with love and embracement. Even at the moment he dies alone at a church, he scolds himself and quietly takes the last breath showing only love for others.

We easily say that we live for others. However, the message delivered to us through Jean Valjean would be that when you abandon even the thought that you live for others, you could truly live for the world and others without expectation. If you thought the world full of irrationality abandoned you, throw away that thought first. The circumstances you are facing have been basically formed from your mind. So, if you throw away the thought first and even the self who had that thought, the world would become much more exciting. Wouldn’t the true value of life be revealed from that point? In fact, there would be nothing more joyful and merry than a life where you abandon yourself, work for the world and live for others.