Human Science

Normally, we believe that if we make an effort in a particular area, we will elicit results that will lead to success in that domain. For example, if I seek a mate, practically speaking I need to make an effort to find her and woo her, which will hopefully secure her love. Never does it occur to us that if we make the right crossroad decision change in a related area, that we will attract the object of our desire; in this case, the one we adore.

In the 1960s film ‘The Apartment,’ C. C. Baxter is a lonely office drone working for an insurance company in New York City. As it turns, four different company managers take turns commandeering his apartment for the purpose of engaging in extramarital liaisons. Unhappy with the situation, but unwilling to challenge them directly, Baxter juggles their conflicting demands while hoping to catch the eye of fetching elevator operator Miss Fran Kubelik. Meanwhile the neighbors, a medical doctor and his wife, assume Baxter is a "good time Charlie" who gets a different woman drunk every night. Baxter accepts their criticism rather than reveal the truth.

One day, he meets with personnel director Mr. Sheldrake, who has gotten wind of this situation. However, rather than denounce it, he asks Baxter for the key so he can be the fifth user of his apartment! As a result, Baxter gets a promotion with his own office. Sometime later, Baxter realizes that Sheldrake is carrying on with Fran, the woman he loves, using his apartment to continue their affair. He also knows that Fran is being used by Sheldrake, for he will never divorce his wife and marry her, which is a pattern he has followed with a number of previous female victims.

One day, Fran takes an overdose of pills at Baxter’s apartment after a rendezvous with Sheldrake, who she realizes will never commit to her. As a result, Baxter frantically seeks out the doctor living next door, and the two of them resuscitate Fran. Even after she is returned to full health, Fran still cannot give up her love for Sheldrake. Feeling humiliated, Baxter now realizes that winning over Fran is a hopeless case. After this near suicide, Sheldrake callously asks Baxter for the key to his apartment so he can once again meet with Fran. However, this time -- despite now having been raised to a high-level position -- Baxter asserts himself by refusing. Even though he knows he will be fired, he exercises his strength and walks out on Sheldrake and, therefore, his job. A while later, he offers to pay the doctor for the services rendered for saving Fran, which is a small but powerful act of generosity. Finally, Baxter decides to give up his own apartment that has been royally abused.

Resigned to celebrate New Year’s Eve by himself, Baxter opens a bottle of champagne, but then hears a knock on the door. It is Fran, who tells him that she has left Sheldrake, though she holds back from revealing that she learned that Baxter had stood up to him and left the company. Baxter then invites her in, and they play cards together as they have done in the past, resuming their friendship. Baxter then confesses his love for her, and Fran in her own way reciprocates those feelings.

What is the inner message here? It is this: because Baxter overcame his usual weakness and stood strong against his hypocritical and abusive boss, life responded with the sudden appearance of Fran from out of nowhere, igniting their romance, and fulfilling his deepest aspiration in life.

In life, we are often confronted by crossroad decisions. When we make the right one, we attract conditions that are favorable to us in a related area. In Baxter’s case, he chose strength over weakness, which attracted Fran and her love from seemingly out of nowhere. It was not his effort to woo her that won her over, but his right choice in a related domain.

We can also examine this dynamic in a proactive way. If there is something we really want, we can look around and examine the conditions in related areas. There we should determine if there are important choices to be made. If we identify it and choose in the right direction, not only will we bring about positive results in that immediate area, but we are likely attract sudden good fortune in another. It can be a new promotion, an opportunity of a lifetime, or the love of one’s life.

--Roy Posner 00:12, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

See also other Case Studies on Life Response

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