This morning I read a blog post from Pip over at Bub, Sweat & Tears titled a Better Me. (Worth a read so do pop over!) In the post Pip mentions one of my (and as it turns out her) favourite movies – Dead Poets Society which got me reminiscing, not only about the movie but a blog post I wrote a few years ago on another blog. And what better way to blog without blogging – recycling!
So here it is!
“Some of you may remember this: “Carpe Diem” or “Seize The Day”. A powerful and most memorable quote from one of my favourite movies – Dead Poets Society.
I had the inclination to watch it again recently. I have actually had more of a need or desire to watch it again for a few months now, and after doing so I now know why.
For those of you who may not have seen it, Dead Poets Society, starring Robin Williams was released in 1989 and is set in a prestigious boy’s college where there are strict rules and traditions to be respected. Tradition, honour, discipline and excellence. Williams’ character, John Keating, is a new English teacher to the school and brings with him some unorthodox teaching methods in which he inspires his students to ‘Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary‘. The movie revolves around Keating’s impression on a small group of students in his class. The young men are inspired by Keating to revive an old school literary club of which Keating founded whilst he was a student, ‘The Dead Poets Society’.
I remember I was a mere 14 when I first watched the film with my best friend. Even back then I found it very powerful, but perhaps the meaning and reasoning behind its power were yet to be revealed to me. At that stage I think it was more the young, handsome cast that appealed to me! However, what the film did inspire in me is my love of writing, English and drama all of which have been very close to my heart ever since.
The film is not only poignant and touching but beautiful, inspiring and encouraging. The reason I was compelled to watch it again is now clear; to reinforce my direction and passion. It reminded me that I too should be ‘Seizing the Day’. Making my life extraordinary. Taking risks. Following my heart.
Some may say ‘passion should not rule the mind’, but I believe otherwise. Can we not be passionate, yet still smart? Why should we not be who want to be inside and follow our dreams? It is sad that so many parents cannot see what their children want and desire; only what they themselves want for them. Just as ‘Neil’ in the film.
We have only one life. It is here and now. There are no second chances at this life, but there are many chances during this life. What is the worst that can happen? Humiliation, embarrassment? I would much prefer this to the feeling of a lost chance. The feeling of realising that I didn’t live to my fullest and that I didn’t show my children that it is possible.
It may be the little things, often the most important, where you can start to make a difference. Start to make decisions that will change your life in the smallest way and give you encouragement and inspiration to aspire to bigger change.
Find what is in your heart, the only thing to be afraid of is failing but failing would only be not trying.”
I can honestly say every word still rings true today and looking back to when I first wrote this I can see the road I’ve travelled and the chances I’ve taken and continue to take – especially with my writing, and it makes me smile. A deep, fulfilling, calming smile.
So yes “O Captain, My Captain” I am seizing the day.