These were lines from a 2002 romantic and funny chick flick I just indulged myself to see the other night while I was chillaxin at home, starring Angelina Jolie and Edward Burns. Lani ( played by Jolie) was predicted to die in a weeks time by a self-proclaimed prophet Jack whom she interviewed on the street to find out if his predictions are true. So, when his two other predictions proved him right, she panics. The rest of the week revolves around her attempts at introspection about her impending death. She viewed life as glass half empty just because of a prediction that filled her with loneliness , desperation and the thoughts about failure of accomplishing a dream. From that moment on, everything for her seems to go down the drain and comes to a full stop.
Lani: Well, I hope you’re happy.
Pete: Define happiness
Lani: Your death
If we will think about it we all became that person a-la-Jolie in some random parts of our lives. And I am not just talking about losing our dear life but also losing a job, a loved one, a house , a husband and even just a mere cellphone would surely bring chaos into our once peaceful , placid life. We all hate to leave our comfort zones because we love the familiar way of living. So, when the universe decides to shake up our nice, little world for a bit, we stand up in protest like those Wall Street Occupiers shouting for economic justice, equality and democracy.
And so, we mess up our lives. We succumb to a mental and psychological malady called depression. We, all of a sudden, turn into mere puppets who will do just what it is required by a handler to do. Some people see life as a mere death sentence. Nothing turns out fine and we are in denial . No one loves me anymore nor I don’t need to love anybody anymore. I will never have a chance to be happy. I wont. I can’t. I don’t. All self-defeating words . The End. Finito. Le Fin.
Lani: What would you do if you only had a week to live?
Pete: I would go to all the people I care about and I would try to memorize their faces.
So what if we only have seven days to live? God made the world in seven days and He did accomplish a lot. So why not look the other way? Start doing little acts of kindness not only to yourself but to other people as well. Okay, your so-called ” self ” might still be feeling a little melancholic , fuzzy and might not be ready yet for now, so do good things for the others first. Anything. It doesn’t have to be grand or fantastic nor aim to win a golden award for that. Start doing small things like singing happy birthday to a friend , soothing an injured puppy, bringing an old woman a flower you pick in the garden, or helping dad in carrying the groceries. Then, if you really can do great deeds then support a charity nearest to your heart, or help renovate a church or support a kid’s operation or send an orphan to school.
Then now do something good for yourself ASAP. Write letters to families and friends, make calls and say how much you love them visit distant relatives, go to your favorite places or eat in your favorite restaurant, do bungee jumping, draw a picture of yourself , write a journal for the remaining days on how happy you feel about doing all these things.
Pete: Did you ever hear the saying ” A picture holds a thousand words”
Lani: That’s only for people like you who don’t know a thousand words.
Pete: I know two and the first one begins with an F….
Being happy doesn’t necessarily mean grinning from ear to ear 24/7 nor literally jump with joy just to prove you don’t care about dying, or have the feeling that it’s okay to lose a house from fire or thank the guy who breaks your heart. Of course , you do because it is your life. But looking at life on a different perspective gives you a better view of the situation and a good chance to face reality so you can make the most of everything your remaining life has to offer.
Pete : Look. I don’t want the opportunity to pass me by again. So I should have told you this a long time ago. But I’ve loved you since the first day I met you.
Lani : Define love.
Pete: Lani, I want to spend the rest of my life with you.
Like all good romantic movies, it was a happy ending. The only part that really died was the life that she didn’t live at all. But the love of a guy proved more powerful that she starts to live and love fully again.