To Tell With Pride How One Lived
I always watch a little television when I go to sleep. So last night I got to watch the end of “The Last Samurai”. Ken Watanabe plays a Samurai who gives up his life for a cause while Tom Cruise learns about love, honor and commitment. In the last fight in the film, Samurais against Japanese soldiers trained by Americans, Ken Watanabe dies but Tom Cruise who had joined Ken, survives. Tom then takes the Samurai’s sword and gives it to the Japanese Emperor. With the sword and the death of the Samurai, the Emperor finally understands he needs to honor tradition and asks Tom Cruise: “Please tell me how he died.” To which Tom responds: “I will tell you how he lived.”
The film intro was just to bring up the sentence “I will tell you how he lived.” The phrase stuck because it reminded me of the importance of making our time and energy count in our journeys where only the beginning is known.
It is not to say we have to become obsessed with doing, quite the contrary. What we need to do is slow down and commit to live life with consciousness by being fully present with our hearts and minds. That means making decisions instead of being a bystander in our own experience and letting “life” or others make decisions for us. It also means committing to our actions and expressions. When we give someone a hug we should commit to the hug. What’s a half a hug anyway? Nothing more than a forgettable action. But what is a committed hug? Something to fill that fills up our hearts and a memory to be recalled.
That’s how we live, but making our experiences count while choosing the life we want to live.