The Cave examines our perspectives of life in many ways, but one in particular is through eyes of its protagonist, Maria Bongiovanni. Maria is one of my favorite characters because of her confidence, compassion, and overall thirst for understanding. She is contemplative, but not afraid to speak her mind. When she does, she speaks with respect and inclusion. Despite her traditional upbringing, she remains open to new ideas and perspectives.
When Maria accompanies her fiancée, Salvatore Giordano, on a trip to Jerusalem to meet his college friends, her world changes dramatically for reasons unexplained. She is stunned, but adjusts predictably and with confidence that life will return to normal. She admirably cares for others, but soon finds herself fighting for survival in the face of conflicting ideologies and beliefs. She does not shy from the conflict before her and the questions emerging from deep in her heart. Through it all, Maria questions truths she once considered sacred and discovers a new perspective important to her survival and that of the world.
I encourage you to consider priorities in your life and your world around you. I encourage your compassion for others, while remaining true to yourself. Most of all, I encourage you to seek answers to life’s greatest questions despite what you may have been taught. Whether in a cave or your corner of the world, I encourage you to never stop exploring.
Because, like Maria, you may see the world in a whole new light…and, possibly, much better focus.