Thursday, October 27, 2005


Sometimes all it takes is a two minute scene from a movie to get you to start thinking.

This time it was from the movie Awakenings, with Robin Williams and Robert DeNiro. If you have never seen this movie, I highly recommend it. In fact, stop reading this right now and go rent it, watch it, then come back.

The scene I am referring to is when Leonard (DeNiro) calls Dr. Sayer (Williams) early one morning and tells him to come to the hospital because he needs to talk to him. The ensuing conversation is thus:

  • Leonard: We've got to tell everybody. We...we...we...we've got to remind them. We've got to remind them how good it is.
    Sayer: How good what is Leonard?
    Leonard: Read the newspaper. There, what does it say? All bad. It's all bad. People have forgotten what life is all about. They've forgotten what it is to be alive. They need to be reminded. They need to be reminded about what they have and what they can lose. What I feel is the joy of life. The gift of life. The freedom of life! The wonderment of life!
Dr. Sayer is then seen conversing with another staff member and he says:

  • He kept saying that people don't appreciate the simple things. Work, play, friendship, family. It's...he was so excited he talked 'til five o'clock in the morning. What he's saying is absolutely right, we don't know how to live.
Then it struck me, and it has stuck with me for the past two weeks or so. The simple fact that I too had forgotten how to live. But I was reminded at the end of the movie:

  • The human spirit is more powerful than any drug. And that is what needs to be nourished. With work, play, friendship, family. These are the things that matter. This is what we've forgotten. The simplist things.

And so a part of me goes back to seeking the simplist things, as well as things in life not so simple. I can't help but ask myself though; if I had not seen this movie, how long would I have been willing to stay asleep?

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