Landon Goodwin: Struggle in Life

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Nearly all people will face different kinds of difficulties in their life. Those difficulties, however, can sometimes become so large that you can hardly recover from it. However, some people, who have a growth mindset, may be able to connect to the world again if any other people give them a helping hand. This is exactly the case for Landon Goodwin, who once addicted on drugs but then use the opportunity given by his cousin to make a difference in his life.

Landon wasn’t used to have a growth mindset. He was so smart when he was young that he never thought about being progressive. As he said himself: “Whenever other guests come to my home with a problem, my parent would always say: ‘give that to Landon to see if he can work out.’” However, he then chose to take drugs. He constantly stole money from his home to buy drugs that one day both his brother and his mother agreed to let him go. From then on, he became a recycler and his life was totally changed.

After becoming a recycler, he changed his mindset. He no longer took drugs, and he worked hard and began to have a good attitude towards life, which was what he learned in church when he was a child. For example, even though he was a recycler and was at the bottom of the society, he always had a smile on his face and he never cried nor complained about the hard life ever once in the movie. Some recyclers may become irritable being a recycler, as they not only have to compete against each other to find the most cans and bottles but have to safely guard those things for the whole day so that no one else would steal things away as well. Dealing with trash cans and bottles is a quite disgusting thing for most people and hardly can anyone keep a good mood if they have to deal with them all day long, but Landon managed to have an optimistic attitude even if life is so hard on him.

Once his brother gave help to him, he stands up nearly immediately. He was given a chance to work as a priest, who is respected and have a stable salary. In this way, his life was totally changed again. For a lot of recyclers, their life would make little change even if they are given help. For example, Jason loves recycling and would not like to change. Even if he was given a chance to go back to normal life, he still addicted to drugs and alcohols. This made his new room so messy that it was unimaginable for people to live in there. Later, Jason returned to live on the street and claimed that he belongs to the street. All of these are much more different to Landon. He has something to pursue in his life. As he said: “I wanna come out of this addiction. I wanna wife. I wanna live a quiet and peaceful life. And it wasn’t until this year that I obtained some of that.” This was really important as his desire was almost the same as common people, which indicated that he was finally ready to go back to a normal life. When I asked him how he could ever overcome the difficulties in his life, he answered me: “I always believe that God would make me through it.” It was this belief that helped him get through the valleys in his life. Isn’t this similar to how growth mindset is defined? By what Carol S Dweck says in Mindset: “this growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts”.(p.7) Here, Landon used his effort to make a change in his life, even it was only a small chance given by his cousin.

By carefully watching the film, it is not difficult for us to find out that the audio part has already shown that Landon would not be a tragedy. For example, when Landon talked about his life and his past, the music played in the background was not sad at all. Instead, it was just light music as if a common person was talking about his daily life. This was totally different from the music for Miss Kay. When Miss Kay talked about her past and her life, the background music was so sad that it made me want to cry. This was such a distinctive feature in this movie that even if I haven’t reached the end, I already knew that Landon might live the best after he received help while Miss Kay may be a tragedy even if she received help from others and worked so hard by herself.

I think that the visual part captures Landon’s life so carefully when he was still a recycler that we know what director wants to show even if no one ever says a single word. For example, when he was in the recycling center, the camera clearly showed how old his skin is, although he wasn’t even 60 at that time. By contrast, nearly all the scenes of the Landon show that he is smiling whatever things he is doing: talking, remembering his past, working in the recycling center, and even picking up cans and bottles. This can show that he had an optimistic mind even then and as he said by himself: “I got to realize that in 16 years I’ll be 70 years old but I’m not gonna be here very long.” This sentence showed that even at that time Landon had an idea get out of there and no longer became a recycler. This is different on other recyclers. For example, for Jason, the camera especially gave him a scene for him to say the sentence that he belongs to the street and he loves recycling. Even if Landon doesn’t like this work, he still smiled in everyday life. This is exactly the same as growth mindset, as what is mentioned by Dweck in Mindset, those people would work even harder when they meet difficulties as they know they would never know their accomplish without years of hard-working and passion(p.7).

Aside from the growth mindset, love makes Landon who he is. Although in the movie, there were few scenes directly showing that he told others to give love, what he said in class showed that he is a man with true love. For example, he called on us to do “what you do with your love” in the future, and he told me that “never forget to fill yourself with love” when I said that I just want a peaceful life (from the lecture). Even though it is not rare for a priest to have true love, this kind of spirit really contributes to his final success. When I understand this part of his spirit, I went back to the movie again, and I found that there are a lot of places showing that he is a person full of love. After his life got better, Landon began to provide help for his former colleagues that he hopes they can grab the chance and fight hard for a better future. This is shown when he went back to the street and found Sheila. I think that this is because he wants to go back to where he once worked and see if anyone needs any help. Moreover, there is a scene that Landon organized a barbecue around his house with his former colleagues. Both of these cases show that Landon is a person full of love as if not, he can just walk far away from the recycling center and let them struggle by themselves. However, Landon is different, in ways that he still thinks that those recyclers deserve a chance to have a better future, and in ways that his heart is full of love. That’s why he was there, even though he was not considered as a member of “that society” anymore.

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Landon Goodwin: Struggle In Life. (2021, Jul 01). Retrieved July 19, 2024 , from

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