Life’s Greatest Accomplishment Is In Living
One of my closest friends is a man in his mid-70s. We met about ten years ago in New York City. He had produced a few films and I was looking for financing for a picture I wanted to make. We ended up working together and still are very good friends.
A few months ago, while visiting me in LA, my friend said if there was something he regretted very much not having known while younger: he was referring to the undue pressure he had put on himself to “be” and to do were just that; undue. He wasn’t talking about working to provide for himself, wife and daughter. He was talking about our compulsiveness to occupy every second of our lives with something to do as well as our eternal fight to prove to others and ourselves that we are indeed important.
I’m thinking about my friend because my Junior High School class is coming together after decades of no contact. We have now created a Facebook page and a Yahoo group for ourselves. What is interesting to me is that since the email exchanges have started there has been a great deal of closeness without any posturing. What I mean is: so far no one has gone hiding behind their accomplishments. We are just happy to be reconnecting and sharing past stories we remember of when we were in class together. I’m sure, eventually, what we have done with our lives will come up, but for now what is most important is the journey. There is palpable excitement as we celebrate being out in the ring even when we remember friends who are no longer with us. What concrete successes we have had are not most important. What is, is that those kids you were still too young to know the complexities of life, are meeting up again in friendship based on nothing else but the love once shared.
The point I’m trying to make is we so often beat ourselves down for not having the bank account or the status to prove our worth when underneath it all what really matters is the journey we have taken. That we were born, cried, laughed but are still journeying.
Here’s one of my favorite quotes by Theodore Roosevelt: