Tom Hanks (And What ‘Cast Away’ Taught Me About Hope and Fear)

I really like the movie Cast Away.

I guess I just like Tom Hanks. (Though I’m not super stoked about his mustache right now.)

There is a scene at the very end, where he’s at a crossroads.

He had set out to deliver a package, one that he had kept the entire time he was stranded on the island. On the front, was an image that gave him the idea to build a sail onto his raft. It saved his life.

We see a woman and her dog pull up in a truck. She gives him options as to where he could go next. She turns out to be the owner of said package, but in the movie, we don’t know what happens. He delivers it to her home, but she isn’t there. Yadda yadda yadda. I’d like to think they lived happily ever after, but I don’t think they did. I think her role in his life had already run its course. (But then again, this is me watching Cast Away at one in the morning.)

In his passenger seat, is a volleyball, that I assume will take the character of Wilson (again), his past volleyball friend. Also, about three jugs of water.

In the back of my mind, I think, “Dang, he must be like, super healthy…eating nothing but raw fish and water and coconut.”

So he leans on his car, and eventually drives away, but we don’t know where.


I’m not sure why this image is in my head. I suppose you have to be in the moment, and not reading this as randomly as I’m writing about it. Because for five years he stayed on that island. He accepted death, and was able to leave only by the means of a random piece of garbage that washed ashore.

I guess the moral, near the end, was that you never know what the tide will bring.

And I think about his seclusion, his loneliness and anger. His needing to survive. I think about desperation, and the point at which you give up.

I wonder, at which point does hope become greater than fear. I believe both are big driving factors.

Some days, I feel as though I live more in fear, than I do hope. But there is something much deeper in hope. There is nothing to gain from fear, except maybe protecting yourself temporarily from something harmful, which isn’t always the best way to handle it.

So I don’t really know if this is about Tom Hanks surviving on a big island.

That one scene though, where he has all the options in the world, is really liberating. Not because I have a million options, but because sometimes life takes a turn, and you are presented with them, like a gift. Though what it took to have those options, could’ve been a nightmare, or simply, a change of heart.

To his name, he had a map. Some water. A volleyball, and Elvis. (And I’m sure a lot of FedEx money.)

So I guess you can’t really give up.

It’s too easy.

And you can’t move in the way fear makes you move. (Unless you are being attacked by a flock of geese, or something.)

I’m talking about the expectation of fear. Fear of reaction, fear of disappointment.


Move along, though.

There is plenty to see. Plenty to do.

In fact, the world relies on you to do it.

And hey, if Tom Hanks can do it,


so can you.

3 responses to “Tom Hanks (And What ‘Cast Away’ Taught Me About Hope and Fear)”

  1. My understanding is that fear is lack of faith. Perfect love, which for me is God’s love, casts out all fear. It is my faith which gives me hope. And I don’t take credit for my faith because it is my understanding that God gives me a measure of faith. And just a little faith, the size of a mustard seed, can move a mountain. How awesome is that?

  2. I am obsessed with the movie Cast Away, and his monologue near the end – “And that’s when this feeling came over me like a warm blanket. I knew, somehow, that I had to stay alive. Somehow. I had to keep breathing. Even though there was no reason to hope. And all my logic said that I would never see this place again. So that’s what I did. I stayed alive. I kept breathing. And one day my logic was proven all wrong because the tide came in, and gave me a sail. ” It always helps me to watch this and yeah, that crossroads scene at the end is unbelievably awesome.

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