Two wonderful signposts on the spiritual pathway are humor and humility, both of which were present and on display at this year’s Golden Globes ceremony. They were characterized by Joaquin Phoenix’ quickly famous line, “Who would have ever thought I’d be here in the Best Comedy or Musical category?!”
It was typical of a night full of the kind of gentle candor and modesty that was believable, especially when coupled with the kind of laughter and levity that was as unassuming as it was un-arrogant. On the spiritual journey, laughter is the medicine of the heart which helps us hear the truth, while humility is the lens through which we can see ourselves—and God—more clearly. On a night when actors and actresses are playing their most difficult role—themselves—there emerged humble spirits and comedic deliveries that moved past self-deprecation to self-revelation, past acting to apparent authenticity.
Geena Davis nearly shed a tear when discussing a little girl who told her mom she wanted to be president because of her show “Commander in Chief.” “Well,” said Davis after a pause, “that didn’t actually happen.” And, after the laughter died down, “But it could have!” She called “Commander-in-Chief” a “fledgling little show like ours” and referred to co-star Don Sutherland as “the god at whose altar I worship.” To poke fun at oneself and affirm others without reservation are high acts of humility we can ask our kids to emulate.
Reese Witherspoon displayed believable authenticity when turning to her husband and saying, “Thank you to my husband and two kids; nothing in life is worth having if I can’t have you.”
Mary Louise Parker, upon besting all four of the Desperate Housewives: “I wanna make out with all of you, especially (director) Elizabeth (Perkins),” an unintentionally provocative sentiment on “Brokeback Mountain”’s big night. She then paused the celebration and quieted the room in a moment to remember her friend and “West Wing” co-star John Spencer, who recently passed away.
Anthony Hopkins looked genuinely distressed as the camera focused on him as he endured the praise and clips leading up to his receiving the Cecil B DeMille award for lifetime achievement. He then used his speech to praise the key grips, make-up artists, transporters, and all those “who work harder than anyone” to bring these films into being, which drew enthusiastic applause.
Perhaps 14,172 servings of champagne helped loosen everybody up… and certainly helped them adopt a humility that, for a night, seemed more honest than rehearsed, even if some of the lines were written in advance and stuffed in pockets.