In Her Shoes

Would you walk down the same small stretch of road for the entire day until the movie directors get a good shot? A group of active senior citizens from either a retirement village in Florida or some nursing homes in New York City became actors for the first time in the entire life, and they are enjoying every moment.

I caught In Her Shoes, starring Cameron Diaz and Toni Collette recently. Cameron Diaz acted as someone who could not hold down a proper job and had problems scouring a job due to her dyslexia. After upsetting her sister and being kicked out of her home by her stepmother, she ran to find her longlost grandmother.

What amazed me was that the grandmother was living with many active senior citizens, and they led active lifestyles. They did not stop learning, or exercising, and it was something very different from the nursing homes in Singapore. I was very impressed with the interviews with the senior citizens, and some of them wanted to hire agents so that they could continue with their Hollywood career.

It is never too late to have a dream or even a career change. It is important to find out the passion in your life. Diaz finally found what she was looking for when she had to look after people at the hospital. A retired professor forced her to read to him, and when he discovered she had a reading problem, he taught her skills. That realisation that she was not stupid made her increase her self confidence tremendously.

Many of us spend a lot of time on work, but we do not take time off to improve ourselves, relax or even do exercises. Sometimes, we only regret when it is too late, when our bodies protest from the years of abuse.

The Pursuit of Happyness

I was watching The Pursuit of Happyness starring Will Smith last night and I was very impressed by the determination his character, Chris Gardner, showed as he made decisions that changed his life. He was extremely broke, and depended on selling expensive medical scanners. His wife left him, and he demanded the custody of his son, due to his childhood experience of growing up without a father.

His wife mocked him for being unrealistic in getting an unpaid internship at a prestigious stockbrokerage, and was extremely upset when he persisted in that as he was not bringing home money. Though it was not shown, I think from the wife’s perspective, it was important that the husband bring home money, and she was pushed to the limit for she had been working two shifts for a few months to keep the family going.

However, what made me sit up was the continual effort put in by Gardner to follow his dream. He had clear visions of what he wanted. He saw a stockbroker getting out of a sports car, and when he found out that a college degree was not necessary to this job, he was inspired to join. He kept persisting in getting through the door to get his internship, and an arrest due to parking violations did not stop him from getting what he wanted.

With lots of obstacles, including being booted out of his home, and lack of money, he still persisted. Many people would have given up long ago. Many would blame everyone else for the problems instead of themselves. He believed he could do it. There was only one position at the end of the internship, and he really had no choice but to get it.

I really admire his tenacity.