Tomb Raider: How little things can and often do add up to big things

My daughter is still young, she’s not even thirty years of age and she’s literally already been all over the world. To say she travels a lot would be an understatement. She and her husband just returned from Banff in Canada where they went on a nice little holiday for the fun of it. She’s a professional photographer so that trip was to get some nice portfolio shots. But that for them was just a little trip. They’ve been to Europe, Iceland, New York, Chicago and out west just over the last half of a year or so and every other week it seems they are going on a new journey. But while she had a free moment she wanted to see the new Tomb Raider movie with me and her mom. Tomb Raider was something I introduced her to as a little girl. I always knew how much she loved the character but I was reminded of just how much when this new film starring Alicia Vikander as the newest Tomb Raider action star taking over for what used to be the sacred ground of Angelina Jolie, came out. Of course, the movie was fabulous, I thought it would be, but was even better than I originally considered. Even more than that it was a reminder for me just how little bitty things can really have an impact on kids which shape them into adults. My daughter in every respect as viewed by other people on the outside world has everything, and they wonder how she got that way often. Sometimes it can be the smallest thing that inspires someone to step into greatness and for my daughter it was the inspiration of Lara Croft.

It’s always been my policy personally, and I passed that on to my children, that if the adults around you let you down that its good and even healthy to find fictional characters to invest in so to set the bar high on personal behavior. I always had good people around me growing up from an adult perspective, people who were positive to emulate, but they fell short of my personal goals. They didn’t reach as far as I would have like to have seen them, so I looked to big characters in movies to shape many of the personality traits I have today. And it worked, But I had an interesting challenge raising my own children, I had two girls and the world didn’t offer them much by way of cool inspirational characters who knew how to embrace their femininity yet strove to push the limits of themselves through the world in a positive way.

It was literally twenty years ago when I was working on a project for an early fulfillment center building conveyor systems. I was working second shift with a lot of other young people who were struggling with the long hard hours and trying to maintain good lives with wives and girlfriends even while we worked 12 hours a day six-day a week for well over a year. I helped a lot of people get through that tough period and when it came Christmas time, I received a lot of gifts from appreciative people who had come to depend on my encouragement. One guy actually gave me a samurai sword because I had talked him out of suicide once he found out his girlfriend had left him compounding a series of other problems in his life largely due to the long hours we were working. He listened to my advice and within six months he went from trying to kill himself to become wonderfully successful. So he presented me that Christmas with a very nice samurai sword. Another guy gave me a copy of the famous Japanese book, The Book of Five Rings because he said that I spoke like the author of that book and that he hoped I would see that and do great things with my talent. Then another guy gave me a copy of the new Tomb Raider III video game, which I had never played but had thought about trying.

My daughter told me the story while we waited for the new Tomb Raider movie to begin at Cinebistro in Liberty Township of how I came home the day I received that old Tomb Raider video game and pretended to shoot up our house with fake guns. She apparently had never forgotten the energy of that moment. I told her at the time that I thought she might like this game because the action hero in it was a girl named Lara Croft, which was like a modern Indiana Jones. She and I went to playing it over the long Holiday weekend and we had one of those daddy, daughter moments that has lasted now for two decades. My daughter liked the game so much that she has spent all that time reading every comic and novel that has been produced about Lara Croft and playing every new video game. When the previous Tomb Raider movies came out back in the 2000s with Angelina Jolie starring as Lara Croft I built those times up and we went to see them as a family together and had a great time which she soaked up. And like I said she has built her life up as her own person but it is amazing how much those influences pushed her to live a quite extraordinary life of her own.

She’s seen more of the world than most people do in an entire lifetime, she’s been married for ten years already and they have a nice house in Liberty Township with a respectable amount of land in what is one of the hottest real estate areas in the United States. And she has a child of her own now as well as a growing client list that is willing to pay her a lot of money for the unique way that she takes pictures. Yet a lot of it was born in just one weekend long ago when she was only around seven years old and we played that Tomb Raider game together during that one memorable Christmas. You just never really know what kids will latch onto as a parent so it’s good to try lots of things. But even what may seem like very small things at the time can lead to big life changing elements, for good or bad. In the case of my daughter her experience with Lara Croft was very positive and it let her set her own personal objectives very high which has led her to a wonderful life so far.

To make it even better the new Tomb Raider was a very good movie. It was not disappointing at all, which was a concern of mine going to see it. My daughter and I had a wonderful time. It’s not often that she gets to go to the movies with just me and her mom these days, because she has a life of her own now and her time is in high demand. Her client list keeps her busy almost every week so getting a window to do something together is pretty rare. I was thinking about it while we were seeing Tomb Raider. There might be four or five times like this over our entire lives so I was determined to make the best of it, and we did. But what was best for me was that I thought of all the other little girls out there who could watch this new Tomb Raider and have such a positive experience that it might inspire them the way it did my daughter. And that made it truly a special event. One that many people including myself will never forget.

Rich Hoffman

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