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It's Not a Wonderful Death
It's Not a Wonderful Death
It's only been somewhat recently that I've ever even seen the Christmas classic film It's a Wonderful Life but I immediately connected with it quite closely.
I particularly like the when Jimmy Stewart/George Baily gets to have a view of the world had he never existed in it. And whenever I might start to get into the mental realm of possibly "offing myself" I try to also see the world in a similar manner.
What effect have I really had on this world?
Last night I saw one of my earliest childhood friends playing with the Brian Setzer Orchestra at the NBC Rockefeller Plaza "tree lighting ceremony". He's also played with the biggest names in modern jazz and then I harken back to the daze when I was the youngest kid at my elementary school who was allowed to join the kids from the "upper grades" on that one day of the week that the music instructor visited the school.
And I wonder... did I have an effect on that guy?
A few holiday seasons ago the one guy who I had considered my "arch rival/nemesis" in my high school years called me up and acted like he was my best buddy. We were always competing to be the bass player in the cities biggest rock bands and he often beat me out.
This call from him thoroughly baffled me but he was insistent that we "hang out" so , having nothing better to do, I agreed.
Now I've heard girls complain about guys who can't shut up about themselves but I never really knew what they were talking about until I spent a few days hanging out with this guy. I could barely get a word in edgewise but he did say some things about me that shocked me.
A few years prior to this my best friend/songwriting partner and I had been sharing an apt/flat together and had heard from another friend that this guy was in a deep depression. He had received a University level degree in music composition and symphonic double bass (upright bowed bass or bass fiddle) but had ended up working at a petrol filling (gas) station.
So to help him out we got his address and sent him our latest collection of absurdist "joke rock" that we'd recently written and recorded.
We never heard back from him.
Well, apparently, according to him, that mundane act of ours simply saved his life. We'd had no idea how depressed he really was but he said he was truly on the brink of no return. And that one tape of completely ridiculous music had fully pulled him up and out of the depths of hell itself and had _inspired_ him fully and that to this day he still maintains that spark of inspiration that my friend and I had re-lit within him.
I was floored. I was like a hero to him! I thought that this guy had always hated my guts and I told him that. He "you got me all wrong, I'm just competitive. I just thought everyone else was too so naturally with that frame of mind you just go out and kick their ass". And he had "kicked my ass" (figuratively) many times in the past (or at least that's been my historical perception)
But he went on to tell me about how much of an inspiration I'd been on him _before_ receiving my tape and it really made me rethink my own version of history.
At that point in my life I truly realized that "History" is not set in stone by any means but is _changeable_ from the point of the present moment.
But the real point of this story is the same as that of It's a Wonderful Life.
If you get depressed during the holidays try to take into account the positive effects your life has had on others. Don't get sucked into a radically wrong and quite selfish viewpoint that your life does not matter. It does in more ways than you can imagine.
12/1/2005 1:19 pm
With tears in my eyes I type these words for your story is one of compassion and the wonders the act of can bring.|
Be careful when you go to bed, would hate for you to carelessly damage your gorgeous wings, you are truly an ANGEL.
12/1/2005 3:29 pm
You beat me to the punch here.|
I just suggested you take a look at this only to now find that you've already been here.
I guess good sync for the both of us on this!
12/2/2005 3:45 am
Isn't it wonderful to know that you have in some way touched someones life? To know that you have made a difference?|
He was lucky to have you in his life. It makes you wonder what kind of an effect you've had on people, what things you've said or done that have made a difference and you never knew.
12/5/2005 4:30 am
Sorry for the delay in getting to this curious,|
I also think that once you do die that at some point you really do get the option to see a form of "cosmic theater" just like Jimmy Stewart/George Baily did with the assistance of Clarence, the wanna-be angel, in It's a Wonderful Life.
I think you get the option to "review" the life you've just lived as a precursor to choosing your next one. And I also think you get to preview a whole lot of potential new lives in that same cosmic theater before embarking on a new physical journey. And once when you find a new potential life that adequately satisfies what you percieve as your most needed growth requirements you do the equivalent of signing on the dotted line for it once you truly confirm your decision. In that way nobody is truly a victim of life circumstances and in some way they chose that particular life for reasons that sometimes seem beyond logical comprehension. For example any "tragic" life you could possibly think of.
But in the bigger picture there is no possible life that does not contain within it some degree of what could only be termed "positive growth value". Rendering the phrase "it's all good" nearly a universal truth.
you wrote..."He was lucky to have you in his life. It makes you wonder what kind of an effect you've had on people, what things you've said or done that have made a difference and you never knew."
I think that in the period of life review you actually do get a chance to find out those things.
I sometimes meet my mother in dreams and she's just like when I knew her when she was alive. But other times it's like she's now making a transition into a new life and is taking on a new identity. But somehow I never feel like I'm "losing her" in any way in these dreams in which she has partially transformed as she's always still able to be who she was to me.
If that makes any sense.
12/5/2005 11:54 am
We all touch lives every day and I think often have no clue to what extent we have impact. Your post is a lovely example of this. I'm far from perfect, but I do try to remember that my actions and words may impact others in ways I never imagined. Seems you've caught that lesson too. Great post!!!|