A place to indulge my narcissism... and write stuff...

Instant Karma

Happy Easter to those of you who rejoice in it. Of course, the Christian holiday celebrates the resurrection of Jesus. I wonder if he was different the second time around? I don’t know if any writings address that. I mean, I know Jesus was all about love and forgiveness, but I think I would have been pretty pissed off after something like what he went through…

Yesterday I watched “The Upside of Anger” with Joan Allen and Kevin Costner. The film follows Ms. Allen as a heavy drinking scorned woman mother of four and her drinking buddy relationship with Mr. Costner, who plays, what else, a retired baseball star! A cool moment for me was to hear Wilco’s “Passenger Side” playing on the radio in the SUV the girls drove to school. Anyway, it was a decent flick that included a minor sub-plot of the youngest daughter, “Popeye” piecing together a video for her high school project. Here, she narrates the last moments of the film:

“The only upside to anger, then… is the person you become. Hopefully someone that wakes up one day and realizes they’re not afraid to take the journey, someone that knows that the truth is, at best, a partially told story. That anger, like growth, comes in spurts and fits, and in its wake, leaves a new chance at acceptance, and the promise of calm.”

At one point Ms. Allen lividly asks Mr. Costner, “why are you here?” She was suspicious of his motives. What was in it for him? It brought me back to another Costner film with a baseball theme, the beautiful, “Field of Dreams.” In this scene, Ray Kinsella (Costner) is arguing with Shoeless Joe Jackson (Ray Liotta) about why he’s not allowed to go with the baseball players out into the mysterious corn rows in the outfield:

Ray Kinsella: “No wait, I have done everything that I’ve been asked to do! I didn’t understand it, but I’ve done it; and I haven’t once asked ‘what’s in it for me?”
Shoeless Joe: “What are you saying Ray?”
Ray Kinsella: “I’m saying, what’s in it for me?”
Shoeless Joe: “Is that why you did this… for you?”

Is that what motivates us? What’s in it for us? I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit and doing some inventory of my own motivations. It seems to me the most joyous moments in life are when we “do unto others,” with no expectations of our own. If we all would do more of that, we’d really be “walking the talk” of the Easter Sunday we celebrate today.

“It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life,
that no man can sincerely try to help another
without helping himself.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

1 Comment

  1. C. Greene

    Wasn’t that twist at the end of Upside just perfect?

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