Thursday, September 3, 2009

Quality of Life

Will: No, I need to provide for my family.
Emma: But provide what exactly?  The understanding that money is the most important thing?  Or the idea that the only life that's worth living is the one that your really passionate about, Will?
-----Glee, Pilot Episode

I watched the rerun of the pilot episode of Glee tonight.  I'd not seen it, and with all the promotion it had been getting, I decided to check it out while I was flipping through the channels.  I landed on it seconds after it started, so I figured this was my chance-I was president of my Select Choir  in high school... I wanted to test it's veracity, I told myself.

I enjoyed it.  Still a little High School Musical cheesy, but with an edge.  Not dramatic like Fame, but more like a sugar coated black comedy.  Sometimes sharp, sometimes needing to be sharper...  Still feeling a bit Disney-fied in the end, though.

But this exchange between these two characters hit me like a ton of bricks.    It reminded me of another conversation between two very different characters in a totally different kind of film:  Golden Boy from 1939.  I've never seen it, but I've shown this exact clip of it in my old intro to theatre classes.

Anyway, Golden Boy is a Depression era movie about a man who is struggling between choosing the life of a prize fighter and instantaneous financial success, or the life of a classical violinist which is his heart's desire.  He wants to support his parents and siblings, and tells his father that money is the answer.  His father, on the other hand, wants his son to do what makes him happy.

In the clip, a debate ensues between the two, where the son says that his father wants him to live for tomorrow, but tomorrow may never come.  The world moves too fast, and owning things makes people happy, and money is the answer to it all.

His father says that things and money don't make a person happy.  He tells his son that only when he does what is in his heart will he truly awake and sing and be who he was meant to be.

We're in the middle of bad times economically in this country.  But the lesson is the same:  Life is not printed on the back of dollar bills.

Follow your passions.  That's what life is about.  Live life with Relish.


  1. I saw the Golden Boy as a play in San Francisco years ago, it stuck with me.

    Great post.

  2. Thanks, Lola!

    It's really scary to forge one's own sense of security in the world, spiritually and monetarily. I guess that's the journey most small business entrepreneurs and artists take, huh? : )


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