In case you missed it, NBC's "The Office" just ended its nine season run on Thursday. The award-winning ensemble comedy focused on a paper company in Scranton, PA - Dunder Mifflin - with the running storyline being that this paper company was chosen to be the subject of an upcoming (faux) documentary. It wasn't until this final season where we started to see the characters really interact with the "filmmakers" who had been covering their lives for the past nine years.
In the hilarious and often poignant final hour-long episode, we saw several characters acknowledge the filmmakers in a startling way: They thanked them for giving them the gift that is video.
Surely, not many people can claim that they have videotaped their entire lives for one year - one week even - let alone the nine years that the Dunder Mifflin characters experienced. But for those that are aware of the power of video - of recording the events of one's life - it was a hard message to pass up from watching "The Office" finale.
Take Pam and Jim. In the second-to-last episode, Jim asked the documentary filmmakers to help him out by creating a montage of all of the special moments he shared with Pam over the years in and outside of the office. It took this video for Pam to realize the deep love that Jim has always had for Pam. It took this video for Jim to express what he was not able to express with words, even to this person - his wife - in which he shared so much with.
Another character - the "Nard Dog" Andy Bernard (Ed Helms) - gave a very touching speech in which he pondered why most people don't realize they are already living in the "good ole days." Many people - fictional or otherwise - tend to look back on their past through rose-colored glasses, often seeing only the best of times and not understanding that they are currently experiencing what will one day be looked back on as an awesome time in that person's life.
Everybody loves having video and watching video. There is nothing more efficient than capturing time as it happened. Photos create a snapshot of what was, but video shows life as it happened.
Sadly, most people view video as a cool luxury instead of a necessity. This isn't merely in the realm of Wedding Video, where it is often added on at the end, or over-looked completely as being "unneeded." But almost always, when there is video, it becomes one of the greatest treasures one can possess.
Take for example, a young girl at a dance studio. Having taped multiple recitals year after year, this young girl can track her progress and show her growth through time. Not knowing what the future holds, these videos also capture a child doing what they most loved.
Or take for example, my own recent Honeymoon, where me and my wife swam with dolphins. The park offering this unique experience offered a video of the experience. Prior to our excursion, we had no interest in said video. But after we had actually had the experience, it became so important. Once we saw the video, we had to have it as a keepsake that is far more valuable than a photo or a story that we would tell over dinner.
Now many people do see the value in videotaping the "major events" of their lives, such as their wedding, their child's first steps, the moment of graduation and the celebration of anniversaries or retirement. But as "The Office" showed us, video holds a value far greater than these major occurrences. There is a beauty in capturing life, and there is no better medium available to do so than video.
As the character Phyllis said last night, she was so incredibly happy to have the documentary video. For as much as she realized this was an incredible part of her life, she never bothered to write anything down along the way.
How many of you are actively writing down the events of your life? How many believe video is an important part of their lives and mindset?
Kudos to the makers of "The Office," who not only left us with one of network TV's best comedies of all time, but with the lovely message that underscores and emphasizes how important capturing life is, no matter the perceived "size" of the moment.