Tuesday, February 12, 2013

"That One Thing..."

Curly: Do you know what the secret of life is?
[holds up one finger]
Curly: This.
Mitch: Your finger?
Curly: One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and the rest don't mean shit.
Mitch: But, what is the "one thing?"
Curly: [smiles] That's what *you* have to find out.

Quote from the 1991 movie City Slickers, with Billy Crystal and the Late Jack Palance. In the movie Curly was a rough old sod buster of a cowboy named Curly. Billy was a smart assed city slicker named Mitch. They end up on a cattle drive together with Palance (Curly) as the guide and lead, while Billy (Mitch) is a tourist on vacation. Typical Hollywood movie but with one scene that I did remember. It was the secret of life question.

You know what I know what the secret of life is.  Yeah, crazy old me, knows what everyone in life wants: Right from the religious nut bar to the lowly atheist. And you know what that is?  Its easy. All it is, is to live a Good Life. Indians know that and say it all the time: Mino Pimatiziwin.

Everyone wants that, the Good Life. Thing is Good Life means different things to different people. For the die hard Holy Roller, its to sit at the Right Hand of God, that is the Good Life. In order to get to the Right Hand of God, they follow certain rules and Teachings from the Bible. In the end if they do it right, they will in fact reach that Good Life. For the Athiest, it is to have a life free from the concept of a Deity. For them it could be to make a financial stable living and have a set retirement date and savings for college for the kids. Others it may be to adhere to the norms of society and go along not getting into too much trouble. Others it could be to follow an exemplary life of kindness and generousity. For others it is to wait for that big space-ship. For others it is too follow those 141 rules of can't do. Others believe that only 144,000 of them can get to the Good Life, but keep trying maybe you will be one of those. Others believe the Good Life is in a place of "joy and bliss" and doing certain things here on Earth will get you there. So the Good Life has many different versions by many many people. For many people the Good Life is simply having a roof, food, and family.

So the Good Life is that one thing. How you get there is all about the choices you make. Some things you can control and somethings you can't.

I want to live the Good Life and for me that means Kindness. Living to be kind is a hard thing. It means lots of things. Maybe I will never get there, but what the heck, I can control some things to help me get there and well as for the things I can't control? Oh well.  As a person who has been very violent and have a tendency for rage, kindness will always elude me. It's still not hopeless to try. That is what the "One Thing" is, to live the Good Life.

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