Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Meaning of Life

The title of this post sounds pretty philosophical, doesn't it?  It really simply refers to a movie I just watched.  Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life.  Silly me, I thought it was just going to be a light and fluffy movie to wile away a Saturday evening.  Yes, it had it's light moments.  But it also had some pretty thought-provoking and insightful comments.  So much so that I went on the Internet and googled quotes from the movie, discovering that they are originally quotes from the book by Wendy Mass.  Now I have a new author to investigate.  This is a movie I could watch again.  

"I made sure to pay attention to everything I was doing. To be fully in the moment. Because that's all life is, really, a string of moments that you knot together and carry with you. Hopefully most of those moments are wonderful, but of course they won't all be. The trick is to recognize an important one when it happens. Even if you share the moment with someone else, it is still yours. Your string is different from anyone else's. It is something no one can ever take away from you. It will protect you and guide you, because it IS you. What you hold here, in your hand, in this box, this is my string.

Until recently, I thought it was death that gave meaning to life--that having an endpoint is what spurred us on to embrace life while we had it. But I was wrong. It isn't death that gives meaning to life. Life gives meaning to life. The answer to the meaning of life is hidden right there inside the question.

What matters is holding tight to that string, and not letting anyone tell us our goals aren't big enough or our interests are silly. But the voices of others aren't the only ones we need to worry about. We tend to be our own worst critics. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: 'Most of the shadows in this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine.' ... Wisdom is found in the least expected places. Always keep your eyes open. Don't block your own sunshine. Be filled with wonder.”

Lots of nuggets here.  

Life gives meaning to life.  Pay attention.  Recognize an important moment when it happens.  

Here are some of the important moments that have happened to me.

1414) parent volunteers in the classroom
1415) the compassion children show for each other
1416) the passion children have for learning about God
1417) the hard questions children ask
1418) sewing with friends
1419) getting quilts back from the long-arm quilter and seeing them come to life
1420) finishing a quilt for my cousin
1421) hugs from children
1422) the opportunity to pray with a hurting mom
1423) celebrating my dad's 80th birthday
1424) finding the words to honour him
1425) hearing the words and love of other family members as they honour him
1426) seeing how loved and honoured he felt
1427) finishing report cards
1428) a car I trust
1429) watching the moon rise
1430) frost on trees
1431) white on white - trees against a white sky 
1432) eyes to see the beauty around me
1433) the lift to my heart at the wonders around me
1434) finding a missing CD!
1435) feeling "organized" (well - sort of) after some tidying
1436) enjoying a favourite Advent story with children
1437) games night at church
1438) connecting with former students who are now adults
1439) finding something to wear to my cousin's wedding
1440) an idea for a way to gift my students
1441) dinners out with friends
1442) watching bits of "the extravaganza"
1443) creativity of children
1444) the learning assistant in my classroom - her support and wisdom

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