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Good advice from an unexpected source

If you love watching movies then it is very likely that you have seen the Sandra Bullock movie The Blind Side about a young African American man called Michael Oher who won through from the ghetto to become a very highly paid Professional Football player.

It’s a good movie, firmly in the heart-warming category. But there was something much more valuable in The Blind Side for us than just warm fuzzies. There’s an amazing piece of down-home wisdom in this film that’s very easy to miss but really worth highlighting.

The wisdom is not, easy to miss because it’s hard to understand it’s not hard to understand at all. You won’t miss it because you just don’t get it either it’s not philosophical in nature and not complex. It’s easy to miss because it’s in an odd place. Its right at the beginning in the opening dialogue in fact. But it’s also delivered with a cultural understanding that just isn’t the case here in New Zealand. It takes a market with a mature outlook on fiscal responsibilities to be able to nod your head and acknowledge that this wisdom rings true and deserves credit for its truism. Let me explain.

The Blind Side movie opens with footage of an American Football game. American Football fans would probably recognise it right away. It’s a game played in 1985 between the Redskins and the Giants. Its infamous because in this game an injury to Quarterback, Joe Theismann ended his career. Joe broke his leg in a horrible on field incident and that, sadly for Joe, was that. Sandra is speaking over the top of this footage. She makes the point that the highest paid player in an American Football team is usually the quarterback. Sure, ok. Lesser known though is that the next highest player on the team is the Left Tackle. This is because the left tackle protects the Quarterbacks blind side. And that is from whence the movie derives its name. But what’s to love about this is the way the screenwriters put it. Sandra voices it thus:

“…because as every housewife knows the first cheque you write is for the mortgage but the second is for the insurance.”

Unfortunately in New Zealand the majority of people do not think this way. Most NZers see insurance as a luxury and place it well down the list below weekly groceries, rates, dentist, doctors, car repayments and so on. We are one of the most underinsured countries in the western world. And it is a tragedy that families are now relying on websites such as Give a Little to offset personal tragedy. Insurance has been there from the beginning. Its true value is realised not in the monthly amounts you might shell out but when tragedy strikes and you need money quick and you get that pay out. If you prioritise insurance as The Blind Side illustrates at its most logical position as the second cheque you write, then a career ending injury such as Joe Thiesmann experienced need not be the end of days for you but testament to the fact that you know simple wisdom when you hear it.