Life isn’t a lot of time–don’t waste it

Without question, the search for truth is a life-long pilgrimage. One that requires both thoughtful listening and assessing. With a heavy dose of openness.
And above all, openness to finding truth wherever it resides–sometimes in the most unlikely places.
Last week, one of those unlikely places for me was an Eddie Murphy movie.
I like Eddie Murphy as an actor, and sometimes use his performances as part of my daily prescription for laughter. A practice I started decades ago after reading what laughter had done for Norman Cousins, and what the experts said about its healing value.
My assumption was that if laughter can help to heal illness, why can’t it help prevent it. With that goal in mind, Eddie Murphy’s latest movie, “Holy Man,” seemed the perfect choice for an evening of laughter.
A cup of coffee in hand and a fire in the hearth, it was finally time for the fun to begin. As expected, there were lots of laughs in the movie. What I hadn’t expected was the life-changing kernel of “truth.”
In “Holy Man,” Murphy is a self-styled guru with a bald head and a flowing white robe who goes simply by the letter “G.” The movie revolves around G’s contact with two young marketing executives at a home shopping channel.
The two marketers first meet G when their car is broken down on a busy highway. He offers to help and instead they end up helping him. Giving him first a place to live and eventually a job selling on their home shopping channel.
With his obvious sincerity, G was a smash hit on the channel. Until, that is, he began to really speak the truth as he saw it.
In what began as a usual marketing pitch, G spoke intensely into the camera. “Would your life be better with a bigger TV set . . . or a VCR . . . or a laser disc?”
But then to the astonishment of the marketers, G followed up by answering his own question. “NO . . . NO . . . NO . . . .” And thus began a convincing exposition on what is really important in life.
Not “things” you buy on a home shopping channel or anywhere else in the marketplace. But people and relationships. Love and kindness. Taking time for the important aspects of life.
This was “truth.” And it just could be that this piece of truth accounts for the failure of “Holy Man” at the box office while Murphy’s “The Nutty Professor” was a smash hit.
Sometimes it’s hard to hear truth, and especially hard to act on it. But that’s no reason not to try.
Says the Holy Man, “You can become a seeker.” You can love more, take more chances, spend more time with the people you care about. You can abandon fear and recognize our common humanity.
It matters immensely that we listen to this truth. Life is too short to do otherwise. Looking straight into the camera, Murphy poignantly reminds moviegoers of this fact. “It’s not a lot of time,” he says. “Don’t waste it.”
So what about you? Have you come to terms with the little blink of time you have on this earth–how short it is and how soon it could end? Why not think about it today, and ask yourself how you can best make sure you don’t waste it.

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