Sunday, July 3, 2011

A little fish in a great big Sea

I watched a movie last night - not a movie I will NOT add to my family friendly movie list for sure.  It had a very interesting but dark story line.  Towards the beginning of the story the main character quotes Mahatma Gandhi.

Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.
The story goes on to follow a young couple tragically bruised from their past trying to make a future together.  Then at the end of the movie there is a very unexpected turn.  The main character that you have followed for nearly two hours.  You have watched him stumble brutally through his sad and depressing life to finally find a glimmer of light.  That moment where he wakes with a smile and finally thinks he may have hope to face a new day.  At that moment he wakes early one morning to meet his father at his office - the father he has hated and despised for years, but who has finally given his son a reason to hope for a renewed relationship.  His father is running late so the main character decides to wait in his office for him.  Then the screenwriters
flip hope on its back for the split second as the camera scans out to show the building where the young man stands awaiting a new beginning.  He is standing on one of the floors two-thirds of the way to the top of one of the Twin Towers.  Then yes - they do - they show you that it is that tragic day, Tuesday, September 11, 2001.

As the remaining characters stand at his grave the monologue repeats the quote ... adding a little more.
Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.  Because no one else will.
How's that for encouragement?   In the commentary the screenwriter and the director talked about how they hoped we would leave the theatre not feeling depressed about what has happened but instead be hopeful for what the future holds.

Personally I think they failed in that goal.

What does that have to do with fish you ask?  As I pondered the quote and its relevance to the movie I was reminded of a fish tank I once saw.  Years ago my husband and I took a trip to Vegas.  (I can hear your gasps of shock.)  As we wandered around the MGM Grand hotel we came across a giant cylinder fish tank standing vertical in front of the Seablue restaurant.  It was mesmerizing. There was a white center post going up the middle then hundreds of small silver fish swimming in circles around the post.  (If my memory is any good still.)  We had to stand and watch for several minutes.  The fish swam round and round the tank in a frenzy. They probably thought they were getting somewhere.  Swimming as fast as there little rudder tails would take them, aiming for . . . what exactly?  The other side of the post?

Do you ever feel like a fish swimming round and round and not sure where you going?  Are you looking around you thinking you're pretty sure you've been here before?

It has only been a little more than five months since I started searching the internet for like minded people.  Writers. Wanna-be authors.  I have been meeting some amazing people.  It blows me away that when they share from their heart they are so much like me.  They have fears and doubts.  They have moments of creative genius and moments of complete stupidity.  We are all fish swimming in the same direction.  So what would a tank of wanna-be's think of Mahatma Gandhi saying that everything we do is insignificant?

It has never been my dream to do something great.  For instance a friend the other day asked how my journey to become the next John Grisham was coming.  I cringed.  I have never wanted to be famous.  I do not want to see my name on a book that is spread all across a bookstore window display.  Strange you may think, but to me that is very different than what I have always wanted to do - something significant.  All I ever wanted was to do something where someone would say 'Did you hear about what she did?'

To me that is very different than being famous.  All it takes is one person to think what I've done matters to them.  That it made a difference in their little swimming 'round-the-pond' existence.

So, to Gandhi I say:   anything I do is significant if I touch at least one other's life.  When I make my kids their favorite meal on their birthday or send my husband a call mid-day to tell him I love him, or write a letter to a friend who is ailing - those are not insignificant.  Maybe I spend my day working outside my home and investing in the lives of people that cross my path - like a teacher, a grocery clerk, a banker.  Or maybe I spend my days inside my home cleaning, making meals and tidying the bathroom for the people I love.  Or maybe I take the words the Lord has placed on my heart and I type them into a 10" x 15" metal contraption on my lap until there are no more to write.  Then I print it and send it home with a friend.  Those are significant. Those are profound.  Those are what makes the great big sea worth swimming in.

Those are the same things that made the lives of people lost on 9-11 significant losses.


  1. Amen Jodi:) I have often struggled to feel that I am doing something significant...especially in the mundane parts of life...but you are so right that even those ARE significant...and I think we need to approach them that way...with confidence...knowing they matter!

  2. you are amazing! you made me laugh and cry reading this! Love Kj

  3. Hi Jodi-I did hear what you did! Fun reading what you think also. Hope you are not a small area of multiple bites at the moment. luv mom