“The world doesn’t work this way!”
“So change the world.”
– Dr. Laroque & Nathan Ford, Leverage
Season 1, Episode 2, “The Homecoming Job”
At the beginning of this episode, a soldier was badly hurt by friendly fire from a group of mercenaries. He’s been crippled for life, and he doesn’t have the means to pay all the medical bills. All he wants is for the company that hurt him to take responsibility, pay for his medical care and physical rehabilitation. But they’ve no intention of doing that. Ever. They screwed him, and they’re happy to leave him in the dust.
Dr. Laroque has dedicated her life, her heart and soul, to healing people, like helping injured veterans however she can. That is a labor born of love and respect for the men and women who risked all and lost much for the sake their country. They’re good guys, generally, but also targets for people of ill intent to take advantage of. She’s seen it countless times, likely: people coming in with promises of help and hope, only to victimize the already victimized and leave them ever more broke and broken. She’s become a bit cynical. People don’t just show up to help. That’s not how the world works.
Enter Nate Ford and his crew of thieves. They come, offer to help, the doctor tries to shut the door on them, but the soldier tells them his story. They take that, and go bring down the mercenary group, whose leaders were much more corrupt than they’d even guessed. In the process, they manage to snitch a small pile of money, and give it not only to the soldier, but to Laroque’s entire facility that is helping him and other veterans.
Dr. Laroque is, quite naturally, shocked by this. People showing up out of the blue with genuine intentions of helping, just giving these honest veterans so much cash? That’s supposed to be impossible! It doesn’t happen! The world isn’t like that!
And Nate just says, “So change the world.”
And that is something I love. Laroque might have been a naïve idealist once, but if so, then she lost that somewhere along the way. That happens to most of us, I think. Unless our lives are especially harsh right from the beginning, we tend to start out with rose-colored glasses, and then they get dirtied by the ugliness of the world, so much so that we forget all the brightness and color that’s out there. Until someone special, and ordinary, just comes along and shows it to us again. They show us that we can still have faith in humanity. That is a wonder which, being regained, can make grown men and women weep like children, in gratitude.
It’s not really an easy thing, what Nate says. But in the simplicity, there is truth. Something’s wrong with the world? The world is hard and cold and cruel and apathetic? Fine. You may have to admit that the world is like that. But you don’t have to accept that it must always be that way. Don’t just wallow in it, do something about it. Be the change you want to see in the world, do what is right, show compassion, go above and beyond just beyond you care, and so on and so forth. 😉
The world won’t simply change if we leave it as it is. But it can be changed if we choose to do so. It may take years, sometimes a lifetime, sometimes generations, sometimes even longer, but the world can be changed. So long as someone, somewhere, sometime, chooses to take that first step.
You don’t like how the world is?