Free Ebook:  Lost & Found

Leveraging Humanity’s “Social Contract” to Support Isolated Students

Introduction: Why Is This A Big Deal?

In January 2023, a movie debuted in cinemas around the world. It was a heartwarming film starring Tom Hanks, entitled A Man Called Otto. From the first scene, we discover that Otto is a grumpy old man who has little time for anyone. He seems bitter about how life has treated him.

He constantly calls out neighbors when they don’t obey the rules perfectly. He’s rude to almost everyone he contacts, and in fact, Otto plots his own death early in the story.

Social scientists would assess Otto Anderson as rejecting humanity’s social contract.

Over the course of his story, we discover why Otto has turned out this way. He met the love of his life as a young man, they married, and she became everything to him. His social skills were poor and his emotional intelligence low, but Julia made him come alive. She nudged him into the best version of himself. Years later, she becomes pregnant, but on a bus ride home from Niagara Falls, they swerve off the road and endure a horrifying accident.

Both Otto and Julia survive, but their baby doesn’t make it. Sometime later, Julia gets cancer and eventually dies prematurely…