Sunday, April 7, 2013

Roger Ebert: Wisdom

Film critic Roger Ebert died last week at the age of 70, having succumbed to cancers of the thyroid and salivary glands. He was best known for his "thumbs up/thumbs down" reviews with partner Gene Siskel on Public Television. He wrote a number of books, including one on director Martin Scorcese, another titled "The Great Movies" and more than one on movies he disliked, including the title "I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie". He won the Pulitzer Prize and had a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was a recovering alcoholic with 30 years of sobriety. (Read about his journey here - It's worth reading his obituary in the Chicago Sun Times to learn more about this remarkable man. (He had had his salivary glands and thyroid removed due to cancer, altering his appearance rather shockingly and rendering him unable to eat or speak. Nevertheless, with the help of his wife, he kept on writing, thinking, producing and loving.) Which leads me to the following which is taken from his autobiography, "Life Itself". I think it's something we could all take to heart.

“Kindness covers all of my political beliefs,” he wrote, at the end of his memoir, “Life Itself.” “No need to spell them out. I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn’t always know this and am happy I lived long enough to find it out.”

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