‘All we have is now’ so make the most of it

Call him Forrest Gump if you like. Or thinking further back–Peter Sellers as the gardener in the movie “Being There.” And you’d be close to right.
For Christopher Lambert in the title role of the movie, “Gideon,” is exactly that kind of person. A gentle, uncomplicated, kind human being. A little on the simple side, and yet the bearer of the hope and wisdom that everyone so desperately needs in life.
I ran into the movie last Thursday quite by chance, never having heard of it before. Actually, I was looking for something light and fluffy–a chance to laugh and dispel the tensions of the week.
So then how did I ever happen to pick “Gideon?”
Well, I’m not exactly sure, but it might have been that I couldn’t resist all of those big stars together in one movie–Carroll O’Connor, Charlton Heston, Shirley Jones, Shelly Winters, Barbara Bain, and Harvey Korman.
Or, on the other hand, it might have been because the movie focused on the tragedy of a group of senior citizens trapped by old age.
They lived in a nice enough home for the elderly run by mostly kind people. And they got along reasonably well together. But somehow the spark of life was missing.
The handyman put it this way, “Their lives are closer to the end than the beginning. They’ve forgotten how to do for themselves. How to stand up for themselves.”
He said those words to Gideon on Gideon’s first day as a resident in the home. And simple child-like Gideon understood the words and remembered. What’s more, he knew instinctively that such an attitude is a tragedy at any age.
In spite of the hard things he must have dealt with, life hadn’t beaten Gideon down. And he just kept on living one day-one moment-at a time.
He trusted people and liked them. And as the former philosophy professor played by Charlton Heston said, “He listened.” Gideon believed in people implicitly. And not surprisingly, they could usually do what he believed they could do.
Miracles can happen with a person like Gideon around. And each of us could use his presence in our lives.
It’s so easy sometimes to give up and let other people take over. To forget the hope of the future and think everything important is in the past. To assume that young people have all the opportunities. To become discouraged and stop doing new things. Or even old things.
And we let go as though it were up to someone else to create our world.
That was another piece of wisdom Gideon had. On the first day, a kindly nurse said to him, “The world we create is the world we live in.” And Gideon repeated it because he knew that his friends in the retirement center had to take responsibility for their own lives, just as everyone else does.
When you come right down to it, what difference does it make whether we’re closer to or farther away from the end of life. Because in the words of this movie’s closing song, “All we have is now.”
So what about you, can you take the challenge to create the world you want to live in at every age? And can you remember to make the most of every day?
It’s extremely important that you do because all we really ever have is now.

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