I try now to wait until there is an urge before I write a post. I don’t know what is going to appear or when. I am traveling now and during this last two weeks I have seen two interesting movies. Both have to do with conscious decision making centered around values that are being challenged.
One was Ides of March about a political campaign in which the stakes are high and so are the temptations. Issues of fear, failure, loyalty, betrayal, innocence, and ruthlessness parade across the screen leaving the viewer witnessing that in the end some survive, get what they want, but nobody emerges happy or really satisfied. The second movie was called Margin Call. It portrays the decisions made in an investment banking firm after it is found that it’s risk management model has gone seriously defective making the firm insolvent, but not before the firm can peddle worthless securities to save itself. Although it is different situation it reveals much of the same. The stakes are high and so are the temptations. Issues of fear, failure, loyatly, betrayal, innocence and ruthlessness again parade across the screen again showing that in the end some survive, but nobody emerges happy or really satisfied. In both movies the issues of ethics, the moral compass, and higher human values are pitted against fear, survival, and a false sense of power. What makes the stories so gripping is that we all sense how real they actually might be in portraying the scenes that are unfolding in our political and financial worlds. None of the characters in either film at the end of the day are happy. The power and money did not seem that satisfying. It wasn’t that long ago that our archetypal heroes could do the right thing knowing that what looked like imminent disaster would be worth it, leading us to a better state of mind and a better world. Interestingly, as I watched these movies I realized that none of these characters seemed like they would have been introspective enough to ask , “How can I be happier?”
Perhaps that is the great challenge of the times now. We are forgetting our own true personal power and that the pursuit of happiness always seems to have been a major goal of humanity.
I woke up thinking about a fellow I met years ago. He told me that every day he made it a point to do at least one nice thing for somebody. It didn’t have to be a biggie, just a conscious effort. In so doing I think it adds to our well being and if you believe in karma, those little things add up returning to us in the form of pleasant surprises and adding to our levels of daily satisfaction and well-being.
perhaps as our institutions are in the process of morphing into something else and nothing looks too stable we may consciously want to decide to simply be happier. This, at least in my mind, is where the true creative thinking takes place.