“We are food for worms, lads”
So goes the line from a classic film about living your life and embracing the gifts you have been given. Dead Poets Society is the film and it was released nearly 30 years ago. For those unfamiliar, do yourselves a favor and check it out.
The entire film centers around breaking out of our own shell, getting out of our own way, and ensuring our lives have meaning, and the quote above comes from the pivotal scene. A group of students are encouraged to look at a trophy case celebrating young men from years past. Those pictured in the case were the stars of their day and they all have one thing in common. They are all dead. Their hearts have played their final beat. What would any of them give to be back on the other side of the glass and live for another day?
Yesterday I was at a talk where the presenter quoted Walt Whitman referring to his “barbaric yawp” (another scene from Dead Poets Society), and today is my birthday. This somewhat random reference combined with 9/25 may not seem like much, but to me it sounds like a subtle reminder from above – seize the day. It’s too easy to get stuck in a rut of your own making. To check off another year and still be in the same place you were on your last birthday. To only experience what you have in the past.
Help me celebrate my birthday by embracing the message in the scene above. Make your life extraordinary, and you will bring others along for the ride. Thanks for breaking out of the rut.