Fresh Perspectives You Can Use.

You have a Choice, but no Guarantee : The Family Man

The Family ManConcluding my mini-series of articles about inspirational movies today, “The Family Man” is one of these must-see-at-all-cost. You’ll enjoy it too, I guarantee it.

It is all about a single and very successful Manhattan businessman who thinks he has everything, with a lifestyle that the world envies – until his girlfriend Kate (Tea Leoni) of 13 years ago contacts him and he is confronted with his choice not to marry her at the time.

By some twist of events, Jack Campbell (Nicolas Cage) wakes up one morning to lead an alternate life of being Kate’s husband for a few weeks, happily married with two kids, selling tyres in the suburbs.

Why would that happen, you might ask? Because over his obsession with business, he has completely neglected his personal life – and that’s catching up with him now. You can’t be out of balance for long, nature will always restore it – a Universal Law that can not be broken.

As human beings, sooner or later we have to experience life from all angles consciously open to us – but we have our priorities, and therefore choices to make. For me this film is very relevant and believable.

What would have happened, for example, if I had not decided in 1984 to live and work in South Africa?

At the time, my biggest dream was to no longer live in Germany where I was born and raised – the two years in London I had done previously weren’t enough to satisfy my curiosity about people who live, learn and grow in cultures different from my own.

As difficult as our decisions seem to be at times, we should be grateful every day that we have the freedom to choose and that we do have the right – and obligation – to become what we can be and want to be. This, by definition, always includes our choice against everything we do NOT want to be.

Fortunately, the constitution of our country ‘guarantees’ that we may pursue any dream we have, as long as we take the responsibility for our actions – not everyone can enjoy this freedom and comfort.

Be that as it may, if you want ‘guarantees’ buy a toaster. In my opinion it is more important to be aware that whatever we do to others will eventually be done to us, one way or another. That’s something that I will personally guarantee, for what it’s worth.

If we all recognised that truth, I believe there would be a lot less suffering in the world, and more prosperity. But we decide to the best of our knowledge, so I must assume that right now most of us just don’t know better.

One dilemma we often face in our choices is that we have to temporarily sacrifice something when we opt for one route over the other. We can never really take a wrong turn though : at the end of the day, one way is as good as the other – may be it’s a bit longer or more difficult than the alternative, but it is always exactly what we need to experience at the time.

Obviously, we sometimes need to give up familiar and comfortable positions to obtain a more comprehensive picture of our place in the universe – and in “Family Man”, Jack Campbell at first has a rude awakening to a life without his Ferrari and penthouse.

But once he discovers that the treasure of a happy life with family and friends is worth so much more than any material comfort, he doesn’t want to go back to his previous existence.

Can we reverse our decisions? No, but with our new perspective we can adjust our course for the future. Be aware of your choices before you hit dead-end.

Until next time, all the best from : Berend


Friday, 20 October 2006 - Posted by | 1. COMPASS eNewsletter, 6. Inspirational Movies

1 Comment »

  1. I had been thinking about renting this movie, but didn’t like the cover. Now I will have to pick it up.

    Comment by Don Ray | Sunday, 22 October 2006 | Reply

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