One of the things I am keenly aware of as I share movies and other media with my sons is that they take the things we watch together very seriously, and in many cases, they are piecing together their knowledge of the world and the way it works from not only the films and the media, but from my reaction to them as well.
WIth that in mind, one of the words I want to be careful with is "hero," because I do think there's a tendency with media to program our perception of heroism as being defined by action and violence. There are two films about heroism this year that take a different approach, both of them important, both of them enormously emotional. "Batkid Begins" is about the heroism of community, of the way people were inspired to these remarkable lengths by something as simple as the illness of a child. It's a film that is dizzying in its optimism, moving because of all the hope and promise that it conveys. The other great film about heroism this year deals with the way someone defines themselves and the very real courage it requires to refuse to be defined by bullying or by societal restrictions, and I'm going to make sure that by the end of this year, my kids know both the name and story of Lizzie Velasquez.