Monday, August 11, 2008

I dare you to look forward.

I think we are all on the quest for one thing, the same thing. There are many paths there and many paths that look promising, and how each of us get there, or not, is entirely up to us. Of course I'm talking about happiness. Our constitution in this country promises the right to pursue it, but that is as close as anyone will ever get to handing it to us. The rest, my friends, is up to us.

I've been watching a movie made in the 90'a that features two of my favorite actors, Robert Duvall and James Earl Jones, A Family Thing. They give fantastic performances in a story steeped in old bitter race frustrations and how they played out in one family. The writing is wonderful and it is worth seeing, if you haven't lo these many years later. But one line stuck with me today, and I'm sad that it hasn't stuck in my head like so many other things. Earl tells his nephew a simple story of a simple man who had a hard life and lived for doing something sweet for his family. And when asked about his hard luck he finally told Earl, "Being happy ain't nothin' but havin' something to look forward to." Earl goes on to tell his nephew that looking back at what he's lost will only cause him pain, and that he needs to find something, anything no matter how simple to look forward to, and continues that he has two little girls to whom he owes something to anticipate in life.

Wow. I can wax philosophic about my history with the best of them, but in the end, it is just history. I do know that when I have something, anything to get ready for everything has more depth and color and and meaning. And who wouldn't want to give that to the people you love?

So this week, I dare you to give yourself something to look forward to. Make it small, make it big, but make it matter. Make a date with an old friend who you love and miss. See a movie that you've been wanting to see for ages. Plan a tea party with your kids. Plan a trip to Greece. Plan a trip to your favorite coffee shop. Plan and anticipate. I dare you.

1 comment:

Miriam said...

I have secretly thought of this as self-medication for years. I know I enjoy the "looking forward" sometimes more than the actual event.

Love that quote.

Yes, I did.


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