Why ‘The Office’ Finale Affects Us So Much
With The Office ending last Thursday, I found myself grieving—and that felt pretty strange. After all, it's just a TV show. How can it affect me that much?
But as I've reflected on the show this past week, I think I've figured it out. Overall, the cast of The Office didn't change that much over its nine seasons. Day in and day out, these same characters went to work together, got into trouble together, and celebrated life together. And all this in spite of the many exaggerated quirks of the characters.
Just take a look at the relationship between Jim Halpert and Dwight Schrute. In watching some of the first episodes of the show, and their many pranks (including the one pictured here), it's hard to believe that Jim would stand in Dwight's wedding in the finale. Dwight's quirks and idiosyncrasies simply seem too much to overcome. Yet somehow, at the end, they seem charming and winsome.
As I look at The Office, I realize it's a big ol' community where lots of different people come together with their quirks and hardships and baggage. They're not always understood. They don't always get along. But in the end they're there for one another, and they deeply care for each other—which was portrayed beautifully in the finale.
Seeing these characters experience that kind of community makes us realize our longing for it. And that's what makes me grieve the ending of the show. It showed us what we long for, the kind of community we seek, this God-placed desire in our hearts for meaningful relationships.
We'll continue to long for this kind of community, and thankfully we can find it in healthy small groups. But only if we're willing to live authentically with others, flaws and all.
When have you experienced this kind of community in a small group? How can we build an "Office culture" in our groups? Share with us below.
Photo credit: NBC