Sunday, March 14, 2010

What matters in life

The first couple of paragraphs are a primer on where my mind started with this post... it's only after that do I actually get to the point of the post.  Feel free to skip the first two paragraphs!

I watched Food Inc a while ago, and just finished watching The Beautiful Truth.  The former is about how large conglomerates are taking over food production, and casts them in a light similar to "Big Pharma".  And it casts them in a pretty negative light.  Whether they deserve it or not... that's the subject for another blog post.  But it did make a good point: we have to be careful about what we eat.

The Beautiful Truth explores the discoveries of Dr. Max Gerson - who in the early 1900s claimed to have a cure for cancer (and various other maladies) through unconventional treatments (translation: a good, mostly vegan, diet).  Although the documentary is catalyzed by Dr. Gerson's theories, it really focuses more on how important it is that we eat the right foods and how processed food is really (really) bad for us.  Again, whether Dr. Gerson's theories are right or wrong is the subject for another blog post.  And I'm pretty sure I don't even have the knowledge (at this point) to even hazard an opinion worth posting.  So I'm definitely staying neutral on the topic, especially since I don't have a balanced (and scientific) view of the issue, and haven't done the research etc. to figure it out.

This blog post really, is more about what the narrator in The Beautiful Truth says at the end of the movie.  These comments really resonated within me.  Maybe that's because I understand effervescence of the human condition - we aren't around for very long... and yet we try to be these really fancy big shots for some reason - as if that actually matters.  So many people forget that it's about having a bit of fun and enjoyment for yourself, while at the same time making a difference for someone other than just yourself.  Here's a snippet of what the narrator says at the end of the movie - here is what really matters from your life:

"Not what you bought, but what you built
Not what you got, but what you gave
Not your successes, but your significance
Not what you learned, but what you taught
Not your competence, but your character
Not how many people you knew, but how many will feel your loss when you are gone

Every act of integrity, courage and sacrifice that empowered others to emulate your example"

I don't think I could've put it any better.  I don't care if you agree with the movie or not (I don't even know if I agree with it yet)... but I do hope that you agree with that paraphrased quote.  And more importantly, I hope that more people live by these "guidelines".  Because really; this is the stuff that matters.  Not the other stuff.

Does that mean that one of my goals shouldn't be to drive around in a Ferrari?  No.  Actually, I want to own and pilot my own helicopter.  My point is - that's the "having fun" part of life.  Life is equal parts having fun, and doing something that matters.  I just wish more people would see the second part - for what it actually means.

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