The Measure Of A Man
How is the life and death of a Man, or Woman, Measured? Do you know?
Do you choose life or death? Are you living the life you want or are you waiting to die? How old are you now? How will you be remembered when you die? What is your legacy?
These questions are deep and cause you to think not only about yourself but the impression you want to leave others of yourself.
Recently, I read the memoir of Sidney Poitier. I heard of him and knew he was a black actor, in white Hollywood, who took roles that broke barriers. Other than that, I never watched a movie by Sidney Poitier. I cannot name a single actor or actress he made a movie with.
Reading the 244 page book opened my eyes to the legacy Sidney Poitier would leave behind. It made me wonder about the principles I stood for. I wondered how I will be remembered in life and death? What do people say about me and what will they say.
What if I was not born? Would the world miss me? This question is asked by millions of people. This question can only be answered by you. The legacy you leave will be measured by your life and death.
Since we can not control when we will die, we are free to live life the way we choose. If you live in any first world country, you have more opportunity than most of the seven billion people living today.
The Simple Life
Reading about Sidney Poitier I can not help but think of my parents who came from India. For the most part India would be considered a 3rd world country. The childhood they had 65 years ago was much different then the childhood they provided me and my sister.
Growing up in India, I do not believe my parents ever imagined living in Canada. Till this day I have a hard time imaging what my life would look like if they had not moved to Montreal, Canada.
My childhood was as normal and as abnormal as many Canadian families. Like Sidney Poitier, my childhood shaped me and has helped me become who I am.
Growing up with a fairly “normal” childhood, I got into lots of trouble and got lots of East Indian discipline.
Growing up Sidney Poitier was discipline the only way his parents knew how. There is something about growing up with parents who use the belt and hand to discipline their children.
I’m not sure what it is but for some reason I believed my parents cared enough for me to teach me lessons I would not forget.
Yes if you want to succeed you have to dream. It all starts with believing in yourself. As Sidney Poitier grew up, I do not believe he focus on what life or death would mean rather he focused on his principles and this dream.
To leave the legacy Sidney Poitier will leave society, is not easy. Hollywood had never seen an actor like him. His movies broke barriers and introduced a generation of people to a man who stood for something. Principles and believes that society could be better if we all loved each other.
Through his movies he was able to prove if you stand for something then you will not compromise your standards. On the big screen he was able to show millions of people what tolerance and oneness meant.
The writes and directors of the movies, Sidney preformed in, used him. Rather, Sidney used the ability to act to convey a message of ethics and humanity. He pushed the boundaries by taking controversial roles.
He stood up for what he believed in. His principles were not swayed by money. He believed there was a better way and fought to get what we believed was right.
Many of his roles were meant to convert the view points people had in the later 50’s and 60’s. In all the movies that Sidney acted in, I believe all the actors understood the message the movies were representing and did their best to sell the message.
Believe In Yourself
With so much going on today it is more important than ever to believe in yourself and your abilities. You have to take the negative of the world and make it a positive. You have to spread the positive and change people lives. When you reach your last days, this is what life and death will determine, when others consider your legacy.
Sidney took the negativity he went through growing up along with the experiences he had day-to-day and made them a positive.
It was not alway easy for him to stand up for what he believed because when you have a police officer pointing a gun at you, it’s not time to get irrational.
The solution was simple. He took a stand against the people who he could, in the films he made. Now millions of people could see what was happening and they could see the solutions to find common ground.
Getting The Message Across
Acting is about finding the emotion you want to convey for the camera. You want people to watch the movie and interpret that emotion based on their own experiences.
Acting as in life, is not about going through the motions. It’s about knowing who you are, believing in yourself, believing the words you say and taking action to achieve what you want.
Through acting on the big screen and doing plays on and off broad way, Sidney wanted to connect the emotions of the characters he played to the people watching. He wanted to connect to the audiences soul. He wanted them to feel the pain, the love, hurt, excitement and the energy he felt in each role he took.
Life and Death
What life secrets or foundation will you pass to your children? What foundation did your parents pass to you?
I think about this question, as should you. I believe living in North America has made some 1st generation kids weak. The children of parents from 2nd and 3rd world countries have it easy, their parents are much strong than they will ever be.
I say this because I have seen the hardships my parents, and the parents of my wife, went through. The hardships of living in their home country and here in Canada, as they struggled to build a life for their children.
Sidney said one of his greatest successes was focusing on faith and believe in the unseen. He understands that he is part of the universe. Whatever he wants, the universe will conspires to help him achieve that goal.
The instant you can answer the questions above, the better you will be prepared to understand why you are here on Earth to accomplish. Grab a paper and a pen and start writing the answer to those questions.
Here are a few more questions for you to consider: What do I want from life? Have I crafted the ideas I want to see come true? Do I know what my goal are? What is the vision I have for my life? What is my path and why not a different one? Where does the journey take me? How far does the journey take me?
Life an death depends on how you handle the journey. A legacy is created the same way. Face your demons if you have not already. Push yourself to look for them and face them, so you can find peace of mind.
Follow your dreams, like Sidney Poitier, to your dying days. You do not have to worry what others say about your legacy. You will have written your own.
Now its your turn to make a difference. Share the solution people are looking for on your favourite social media platform. It’s easy to do and a proven fact your inner circle wants to know what you know.
Leave a comment below and tell us what you will do today to create the legacy you want others to remember you by.
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