Me Before You Vs. You Before Me

Me Before You Vs. You Before Me

Raine Eguico

The first time I saw the trailer of “Me Before You,” I must admit that I was convinced to watch it. It seemed to be about a lady who showed life’s meaning to a gentleman who has a disability and who will die soon. The actor and actress have a good chemistry and so I was excited to watch it. After all, it’s another romantic film to look forward to. I even shared on my Facebook wall a photo quote promoting the movie because the quote that went with it was about “living well.”

The game changer was this article I read from Lifesite News. I suddenly realized that “Me Before You” actually sounds selfish, giving a signal that it’s quite wrong. I just couldn’t figure out yet what was wrong.

Stephanie Gray, the one who wrote the article put it just right. She contrasted “Me Before You” with “You Before Me.” I finally got it. “Me Before You” is selfish while “You Before Me” is selfless.

While reading the article, it made sense why “Me Before You” was the title of the novel turned movie. A literal interpretation of it would be the lead male character telling the female lead character that it is he who should die first before her. I said this because I now know that the story actually supports the practice of assisted suicide.

That’s it. Assisted Suicide. While it is assisted, we have to acknowledge that it is still suicide. Simply put, someone assists the person who wants to commit suicide. Suicide is taking one’s life and so to support someone to do just that seems to be all wrong. Would we really naturally support someone in his or her desire to end his or her life or would we naturally encourage him or her to not lose hope and so save his or her life despite and in spite of?

I believe we live in such a highly romanticized world. This reality is making us consider the originally wrong behaviors and practices as “okay” and acceptable, whether we like it or not.

Now more than ever, truth has become twisted. Right and wrong are continuously being defied and so everything seems relative. What is right for me may not be right for you. Similarly, what is wrong for me may not be wrong for you. We say that’s “okay” because that is how we show “respect,” but guess what? In trying so much to give “respect” to what others believe in, we are actually allowing ourselves to disregard what is originally wrong and right. I keep on using the word “originally,” because truth is supposed to be absolute. We started with a fixed set of right’s and wrong’s and this is what we are missing on, sadly. Deep within us, we have what we call our moral compass but even this is being threatened to be autonomous, giving way for every individual to have his or her own set of moral codes that do not necessarily follow the natural meaning of right and wrong.

Let’s take killing as an example. It is universal truth that killing is wrong. When did it ever become right? We find the Holocaust that killed millions of Jews horrible. We take Cambodia’s massive genocide of professionals and children as disheartening.  We are out to shout for justice for Heneral Luna when he was shown to be assassinated by a suspected fellow military leader. We are angered by the inhumane ways of killing of the Martial Law victims. We protested when Flor Contemplacion was once sentenced to death in Singapore.

Clearly, there is something about killing that tells us that it is wrong. It must be because it’s already the life of a person that is at stake. As Gray put it, “Life, whether our own or someone else’s, is not ours to take.” No one, regardless of the power or position he or she holds, has the right to end another person’s life. It’s not something we will naturally do for another person. Whether we like it or not, even when we have forgotten it already, the natural way is to preserve life. We even take medication so as to get cured and not die because of sickness.

Sad to say, we easily bend the truth in the name of love. Just look at this movie. Assisted suicide seems to be “all okay” because it was packaged as an act of love anyway.

Love is so powerful that it can twist even the truth. How many of us tolerated friends who end up being mistresses because they just want to love and be loved and that is what makes them happy? Yes, they may be happy, but have we thought of the family being threatened because of a mistress? Have we looked into the possible consequences of fighting for such a kind of love? Have we thought of its effect on the society we are building for the future?

At the end of it all, truth is truth, and the truth hurts, offends and challenges especially when we’ve already got it all wrong without us even noticing.

And so while the world screams “Me Before You” to the whole human family, I hope we still manage to go out of ourselves and follow The Way, The Truth and The Life who is no other than Jesus Christ. Just in case we have forgotten, His very life and death scream “You Before Me.”