I grew up with a mother claiming she was MacGyver. My friend's called her Chuck Norris because she was strict about curfews, boys, and low cut shirts. But they didn't realize that she was more well-intentioned and non-violent more to the likes of MacGyver rather than the macho tough guy, Chuck Norris. She could rig anything out of a paper clip and rope. She could heal a bee sting with an orange peel and cure the most fierce ailments with baking soda and oatmeal. Beyond that she was able to wrestle with the emotional turmoil of a dirty divorce and pack up her three young kids to start a new life.
If you don't remember him MacGyver is a late 80s television series that ran for 7 seasons starring Richard Dean Anderson as Angus MacGyver. Angus MacGyver is a troubleshooter of sorts who figures out complex problems through the use of his refined knowledge of physical sciences, ordinary objects, and generally a swiss army knife. He's known for non-violence. He never uses a gun. He eats vegetarian but will eat meat in moderation because complete elimination isn't good for anyone. It's about balance, as my mom says.
Here is a great example of MacGyver and his son rigging "wings" to help them get out of the pit of a ship. This clip reminds me of me and my mom:
MacGyver is a classic example of Debt is Art, which means having a debt or having a lack of something allows us to see abundance in the resources already around us, forcing us to reuse and reinvent. In the clip above, you see that MacGyver and his son are stuck in the ship. The two of them go through the process of brainstorming what options they have for getting out, and then look around them for resources to make that happen.
If MacGyver wasn't constantly in these pickles with bad guys, he would never have the opportunity to think of these ideas. We need this space of desperation to realize what we have, and then to reinvent.
Great facts about MacGyver:
- He tends to narrate stories from his childhood that relate to the current situation he is in.
- He uses household items to jerry rig complex devices that get him out of life or death situations making his moves accessible to all sorts of homemakers.
- He never uses a gun. An incident that involved a revolver and his friend's death at a young age has turned him off of guns and violence in general. If you watch, he never hurts a bad guy, he just escapes them.
- While the hype surrounding "non-violent communication" today is hard, MacGyver sort of started that trend. And that is a fact that is often overlooked in certain circles.
- MacGyver is not a stereotypical white man action hero dude. He gets sad, he gets scared. He's sensitive and blames himself for losses and tragedies. This probably resulted from him failing to be by his mother's side when she was nearing death. He's had other incidents which have resulted in deaths with people he was with (climbing accident, plane crash) and he always comes out completely disturbed. I really get him in that way. When people die, I can't breath for months. It's too much to lose.
- He speaks Russian, German, French, Italian, Spanish, and Sign Language. Yes, they are all Western-ish languages but it's cool! We can't know everything.