SPOILER ALERT! This blog is about Big Hero 6. Which I saw. There are SPOILERS! If you have not seen Big Hero 6 and don’t want to know plot points stop reading now. Did I mention the SPOILERS?
In part one I talked about Baymax’s core mission of patient care and how we can struggle by trying to do too much. In part two, I talked about changing expectations of satisfaction and how far we may have to go to achieve our goals. I would like to finish up talking about what satisfaction might look like.
Baymax does not determine his own completion. He is obligated to continue to provide care until his patient says that s/he is “satisfied”. Until that is declared, Baymax must remain active. No matter what his sensors say about his patient, if that patient is not satisfied Baymax is not done. Hiro takes advantage of this in his own quest for revenge, finally allowing Baymax to deactivate in order to fulfill his mission and save Hiro’s life. This is an intriguing notion.
I am a veteran of many a mission trip. While they have each been varied and diverse in both location and substance, they have one thing in common. We go to a location and when our time is up, we leave. Whether it is an afternoon of sacking beans at the local food bank or a week running a VBS in Alaska, the group is there for a specific time and job and then leaves when the time is up. Not when the job is done, not when the church or organization no longer needed our help, but when we decided in advance that we were done. There is no consultation with those we are working for or with, there is simply the schedule. When we had met our time obligation, we left. There was no discussion of whether or not the people we were working with were satisfied. It was time to go home.
Baymax’s model seems more useful. What if we looked at mission as an opportunity to meet the need that is in front of us and when the person we are helping is satisfied we leave. No leaving things undone and also no outstaying the welcome. (That is the flip side of having a certain time commitment. What do to with volunteers who have finished their job?) Of course it might be tempting to do as Hiro does and become too attached to the person who is helping and not be willing to let go when it is time, when someone doesn’t want to be satisfied.
Letting go is important, not only for the one helping, but for the one being helped. Hiro needed to let Baymax go so he could go forward on his own into the new life that had been created. Each helping relationship does have a natural end. When we end it too soon or hang on to it too long we diminish what it should be. A good helping relationship benefits all the people involved. We need to allow each person to become who they are as a result of the relationship and often that means saying goodbye. When someone is satisfied, they can step from the role of helped to helper and pass on what they have learned. When someone has had their own needs satisfied, then they have the means and the ability to satisfy the needs of someone else.