There are movies that happen to you. You stumble upon them and are left in awe. Long after the movie credits have faded into oblivion they continue to inspire and engage.
It happened to me recently on a trans-Atlantic trip. The movie – The old man and the gun starring the inimitable Robert Redford.
I will not spill the beans of the story or its plot here in case you have not seen the movie yet (what are you doing reading my drivel – go watch the movie!).
But what I will call out are a few dialogs that are incredible and thought-provoking.
I’’m exactly where I’m supposed to be
Wow! When was the last time you (or me) felt that way? Usually isn’t it the other way around? We would rather be someplace else. Seeing someone else’s success and hoping that it was yours. And the fleeting moments when we do have that sense of calm and fulfillment are just that – fleeting. Why? Because external forces that we can neither influence nor control can invade our calm and destroy the peace in an instant.
If I ever wonder what I’m doing or where I’m going, I just think of myself as that little kid I was. Now, would he been proud of me?
It took me a few retakes to absorb the import of this. It is all about you. Not your parents, friends, the world-at-large that prescribed what success would mean for you growing up. This is your own self as a kid looking up at you and saying – Wow! (or not). And the external forces suddenly fade into the ether. As you are confronted with just little you and big you in an honest dialog of what success and fulfillment really mean.
And the one that literally gives me the goosebumps every time I read this
I’m not talking about making a living. I’m just talking about living
We are so obsessed about making a living that we forget about living. Such a simple yet profound statement. Yes, sometimes life is unfair and we all face adversity at some time. But for those many moments when we are not being tested, are we still engulfing ourselves with a pathological sense of pessimism of what the future might bring or feeling guilty about being happy for the present.
This may be Robert’s swan song in tinsel town. He is certainly leaving on a high note in my book. Thank you, sir, for delivering a spellbinding performance and giving us a reason to really start living, being THE model for our own little selves and goading us to be happy in the present.