Thursday, January 25
The Persuit of Happiness
Running down the road against the freezing wind, I run and run to catch a bus I eventually missed. So I stopped, tried to recuperate my breath and initiated an expression of anger when an old man, dressed in rags, offered me a copy of the "Big Issue". I got my hand in my pocket grabbing those few coins, stretched my arm to reach his,close enough to brush against his coarse-purple looking hands. He was obviously cold so I went and got him a hot drink and something to eat. I am not writing this to make myself a super-hero, not at all. It is just that this small and apparently ordinary and insignificant happening, opened my eyes. The touch of my soft tiny warm hands on this elderly homeless person standing in the cold to make enough money to help him get by, widened the spectrum in my perception of my own circumstances. The running, the cheasing after the wind seem to have become a recurrent theme in my life recently. However, the stopping, the perceived failure, the slowing down, the change of direction is something that I had never taken into account as a desirable and necessary incident. I have spent my entire longevity seeking to be the best I could in every aspect of life. I have sought and tried and, although I have had a few recompenses, the pay-off as most frequently been what can be compared to a walk into a concrete wall, a slap in the face and the train of your life closing its doors and setting off into the sunset as you, dead-meat, stand still watching it go by. When this happens we, perfectionistic idealists, feel like as if the earth was going to open up to swallow us into a place of no return where the pain, although not much different from previous hurts, is too unbearable to allow the continuation of your existence. Last night I went to watch "The Pursuit of Happyness" with Will and Jaden Smith. To me it is a 9/10 movie, definitively worth watching. Masterly directed by the brilliant Gabriele Muccino (The Last Kiss; Remember Me) tells the real story of Christopher Gardener who, without going into too much detail ('cause this is so worth watching), teaches us a massive lesson about what happens to the "goodies" in our society:they are doomed (or appear to be anyway). However the whole story is a running because, as the protagonist narrates, "Jefferson must have been a clever guy to put 'the pursuit, bit attached to the right to happiness in the declaration of Independence". You see happiness doesn't come into microwavable-meals-style-packages. Not even Jesus said that if you would have followed the instructions and done good you would have received all you ever wanted (so much so that in the Beatitudes it is the poor and the afflicted who technically are the most blessed!!!). You know what stuff like this makes me want to carry on. Carry on doing good, carry on giving life your best shot, carring on seeing the good in humanity, carry on loving unconditionally 'cause even when you are perceived as doomed, the running towards coherence, honour and Love are worth the pursuit of happiness.