Carpe Diem!!!

"Sieze the day!" ... that's what it means ... "Carpe Diem!" and the phrase has captured my heart ever since I heard it. It points to the biggest problem that middle-class society faces, I believe - a lack of passion in what they believe.

I heard the phrase in a recent movie I saw, that immediately became one of my favourite movies - The Dead Poets' Society. Its a story about a literature teacher John Keating (Robin Williams) from Welton High, a rigidly tradition-minded prep school for bright boys. Interestingly enough, there's a whole page dedicated to the philosophy of the movie, with a section on each character, including John Keating

He inspires his students to follow their passions, to think for themselves - "Carpe Diem, lads! Seize the day! Make your lives extraordinary!" - he says to his students in their first class. One of my favourite scenes is when he literally forces out a poem from the most introvert student in the class - Todd Anderson.

Todd was very shy. He couldn't speak to anyone of authority including answering questions in class without sounding insecure. However, by the end of the movie, Todd has found his voice and to show his loyalty to Keating, and that Keating actually taught him something valuable, he is the first to stand on his desk and call out to Keating as "O Captain! My Captain!"

Basic reason for the problems people face is their lack of passion, I believe. "Ordinary man" is too engrossed in acquiring approval from peers and his elders harping on tradition - in fitting in with the flow - rather than following his heart and fulfilling his dreams. He is afraid to passionately work for something that he truly likes or truly believes in.

If only he passionately followed his dreams and his instincts; if only he didn't cower under the wholly unnecessary fear of "public opinion" ... if instead he just went out and created a whole new path for himself ... the world would be a far more beautiful place than anyone can imagine!

The media do seem to understand this. One of the hits from Dil Chahta Hai goes "Jab saaz hai, awaz hai, fir kisliye hichkichana! Gayenge hum, apne dilon ka tarana!" I wonder how many fellow yuppies from my generation actually get the message. I wish everyone grew up with a John Keating to teach him!

Written by sameer in Uncategorized on Sun 23 November 2003. Tags: idle thoughts,


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