This past Friday Iron Fist dropped on Netflix.
So far I have seen the first five episodes. This post is not a review. It is not a fanboy praising the show. It is not a criticism.
This post is about one little scene in the first episode that really made me think.
The scene in question shows Danny Rand doing some Tai Chi. Now at this point he has just returned to New York and is basically homeless.
So here he is, doing Tai Chi in the park, dressed in raggedy clothes, and a coffee cup on the ground next to him.
Colleen Wing walks by, sees him there, and tosses a couple of dollars into his cup.
Colleen Wing is the owner of a karate dojo and she is in the park to hang flyers up and try to get students. As she is hanging a few flyers Danny comes over and tries to hand the money back saying, “I wasn’t asking for money.”
She is then pretty rude and brushes him off like he is a nobody. And when he tries to make conversation she is increasingly rude and pretty much tries to ignore him.
That made me wonder, if she cared enough to give him a few bucks–especially since she is nearly broke and her business can barely pay its rent–then why does she act like she doesn’t care about him when he starts talking to her?
Why is she so rude?
The answer to that question can not only apply to the character, but apply to most people in the real world as well.
She did not give Danny Rand money out of the kindness of her heart, or because she cared about a human being living on the streets. She gave him the money because she wanted to make herself feel better.
Lots of people give a couple of bucks to a homeless person to make themselves feel better.
Or worse, lots of people convince themselves that they should not give someone a couple bucks because they will probably just spend it on drugs and alcohol. This makes them feel even better since the can pretend they are not enabling or contributing to someone else’s problems.
I see people sharing their random acts of kindness online all the time. Boasting about doing something good for someone “less fortunate.” Or recording themselves doing something nice which actually makes it more about the act of kindness and less about the actual kindness and compassion.
So far I like Iron Fist, but it is not as great a show as I was hoping it would be.
There are, however, little lessons that we can learn about ourselves if we look into the mirror it provides.