Is There More to Life?

In the movie City Slickers, Mitch Robbins (played by Billy Crystal) is about to turn forty. One day he visits his son's school to tell about his work. Suddenly struck by the brevity of life, he delivers a monologue in front of a bewildered classroom of youngsters.

Value this time in your life, kids, because this is the time in your life when you still have your choices. It goes by so fast.

When you're a teenager, you think you can do anything and you do.

Your twenties are a blur.

Thirties, you raise your family, you make a little money, and you think to yourself, "What happened to my twenties?"

Forties, you grow a little pot belly, you grow another chin. The music starts to get too loud, one of your old girlfriends from high school becomes a grandmother.

Fifties, you have a minor surgery - you'll call it a procedure, but it's a surgery.

Sixties, you'll have a major surgery, the music is still loud, but it doesn't matter because you can't hear it anyway.

Seventies, you and the wife retire to Fort Lauderdale. You start eating dinner at 2:00 in the afternoon, you have lunch around 10:00, breakfast the night before, spend most of your time wandering around malls looking for the ultimate soft yogurt and muttering, "How come the kids don't call? How come the kids don't call?"

The eighties, you'll have a major stroke, and you end up babbling with some Jamaican nurse who your wife can't stand, but who you call Mama.

Any questions?

Any questions, indeed. When I was in my early 20s, I had one burning question (front burner!). I would lie awake at night thinking about the question. I would come home from work and think about the question. It's the question I think the character played by Billy Crystal alludes to in his monologue: "Is this all there is to life?'

Has that thought (or something like it) ever crossed your mind? Do you push it into the background? Do you substitute activities and busyness, so you don't have to think about it? Are you resigned that this world is all there is?

For a fresh perspective, check out the wise words of an ancient sage in a book called Ecclesiastes. You can read a portion of it here.

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