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Friday, January 8, 2010

Choose Life

I wasn't sure what to call this one.

The expression "Choose Life" is loaded with associations political, religious, philosophical, and even medical.

There are lots of ways I could have said this. "Wake up!" or "Pay attention" maybe.

But perhaps some fictional characters can help clarify my meaning.

The addict Renton in Trainspotting rejects choosing life, and recommends choosing heroin instead. I mean the opposite of that.

Or how about this: When Elmore Leonard's character Chili Palmer wants to say something important, he looks at the person in question and says, "So-and-so, look at me," and So-and-so inevitably says, "I am looking at you," and Chili says, "No, I mean really look at me."

That's what I mean.

Really live. Consciously approach your life with all your senses.

Sri Ramakrishna reportedly recommended that the only way to seek enlightenment is to do it as a man whose hair is on fire seeks a pond. My friend Robert Urich used to delightfully misquote this: "Face every day like your hair was on fire."

Not quite the picture he wanted, I think, but it still does get across what I want to say here.

Perhaps the word I'm groping for is "passion"? Anyway, try to see beyond my poor words and grasp the essence of the idea, then do it.

You'll be happier.

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