LOST: From James Ford to Sawyer

One of the easiest mysteries to solve on the pilot episode of LOST, was the question as to who would be “the bad guy” or “the outsider” in the group.  Josh Holloway‘s brooding looks and sneers of disgust when asked to help made it clear to the audience, that this guy, “Sawyer”, was not going to win any congeniality awards.  Whether it was his dimples, his sense of humor, or women’s tendency to be attracted to bad boys, the audience began to root for Sawyer.  Even fellow actor Jorge Reyes’ mother was more worried about Sawyer being killed off of the show than her own son.  Whether we loved to hate him, or loved him in spite of his shortcomings, he was loved.  Now, about those shortcomings….

His name isn’t really “Sawyer”.  Through flashback, we learn that Sawyer’s parents died when he was just a boy.  His father shot his mother in the next room, and then horrifically, shot himself on a bed that the young boy was hiding under.  In a way we do not yet know, the boy found out who was responsible for scamming his parents out of their savings, leading to the murder/suicide of his parents.  This man went by the alias, “Sawyer”.  Our island survivor’s real name was James Ford.  Little James Ford thought of little else than finding the man responsible, and doling out justice for the loss of his parents.  Writing a letter to read to Sawyer just before killing him, James Ford was focused on revenge.

Now, even as a young boy, James Ford could identify that what had happened to his family was wrong.  While Sawyer had not pulled the trigger, his scamming left the blood on his hands.  Why oh why, did James Ford end up growing up to become just like him?  Not just in taking his name, but in taking up scamming people out of their savings, just like the man he had hated for most of his life.  The simple answer may refer to a principle of cognitive psychology:  We move towards, and become like, that which we think about.  Our thoughts, whether they are lifting something up or tearing it down, get imprinted into our subconscious.

This is also similar to Jack not wanting to become an alcoholic like his father, and by thinking so much about it, brought it into reality.  Mr. Eko’s thoughts of his brother as a priest eventually led him to become a legitimate man of God.  There are many elements of LOST that testify to this truth.

As James Ford becomes Sawyer, he doesn’t even believe that he has any choice to be anything else.  “A tiger doesn’t change it’s stripes.” he tells Kate after a scheme to take all of the guns in the camp has commenced.  Only after he has killed the real Sawyer, and completed his task, is he free to let his thoughts move on.  The island gives him an opportunity to be a man of love and a man of leadership.  This new goal changes his thought patterns, and his behavior follows.

What are you thinking about most of the time?  Do you see your actions as a result of your thought patterns?  Changing your life is as simple as changing your mind, but changing your mind takes the right kind of fuel.  Garbage in, garbage out.  What are you reading?  Who are you talking with?  What do you talk about?  If you are fixated on what you despise or hate…. be careful.  You just may turn into that same thing.