Just got done watching The Pursuit of Happyness, which, even though it wasn't particularly well reviewed, it certainly got to me. Maybe it's because of the acting, or the story, or just the thoughts of how little I've really had to struggle through, but it got to me.

I mean seriously? How ridiculous do I feel when the stresses that I deal with on a daily basis aren't how to keep a roof over my head or what to eat, they're on the order of "I need to pay a lot of money to get one of my cars repaired", or "I've got to sort through all the useless crap I've accumulated". How quickly and easily we forget just how blessed our lives are. I was lucky enough to grow up with enough money to have nice things, go to good schools, have supportive parents and not even worry about college. All of it was handed to me on a silver platter. And what's even worse is that only one generation back (my father) was struggling when he came to this country, fatherless, working three jobs to pay his way through school and sending back money to India to support his mother and brother. How close and yet so far away.

The hardest part I really found were the sections where the sections where Will Smith was so mentally stressed by the situation that he snapped as his son. Even the thought of the "real life" nature of it, where someone has fully altruistic goals, (in this case to have a good life for him and his son) deal irrevocable damage to the people you're trying to help. Especially when it's a child, is just hard to see. Harder still for me to see in a father-son relationship. I know if / when I do have kids, I won't be a perfect father - nobody is. But even just considering the thought of hurting my child makes me a little sick to my stomach.

(if you haven't seen the movie, potential spoiler alert in the next section)

Which, I think is why a little part of the ending actually seemed bittersweet to me. Throughout the movie, there are allusions to Will Smith being so stressed that he begins to hurt his relationship with his son in the pursuit of this job (to get the money to live). Then, the end pre-credits-text has a happy-go-lucky note about the fact that Will Smith's character sold part of the company in a multi-million dollar deal (the movie was inspired by a true story). Going in a few seconds from struggling to find a place to live to becoming a multi-millionaire just seemed to rub me the wrong way, and think about how much all that work by Will Smith's character must have hurt his relationship with his son in the long run. How weird is that?

(end spoiler)

It absolutely makes me think about, and often reconsider what I do on a day-to-day basis. Surely there are better, more effective ways to leave this world a better place. I had a discussion with a coworker who recently got a Tesla that started on the topic of whether he was keeping his old car and somehow ended up on the goals he has about how he wants to affect the world. To summarize a long discussion, we were talking about his goals (something we share) to help people - the benefits over helping a single person by day-to-day actions, or whether to succeed in other ways (financially as an example) and then try and help more people en masse - by donations, by volunteering, etc. The end goal being the same, which is the "most correct" solution? It was an interesting discussion that left me with a new respect for him, and of course reconsidering what I have done, am currently doing, and want to be doing with my life, on a day-to-day basis and a long term basis.

Totally devoid of answers, here I am - thinking, trying to figure out how to help. Trying to figure out how to progress forward myself as well as anyone I can help. Far too often we need a reminder as to how much help we've already received in life, and how much we should be giving that help to anyone we find that could use it.

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