Tuesday, October 14, 2008
You've got a Harvard education, but where is your heart?
That line was said by George Gulden (played by William Hurt) in the movie One True Thing. I like this movie a lot (there are great performances by Renee Zellweger [as Ellen] and Meryl Streep [as Kate])! One True Thing actually comes from a novel of the same title, written by Anna Quindlen.
This is about family--and the main character, Ellen, is torn between starting her career as a journalist and staying home to care for her mother Kate (who has cancer).
As Ellen takes after her dad (in the way that she's more analytic, calm and scholarly), spending a lot of time with her mother is quite a drastic change of pace. For one, she gets thrown into the fray of her mother's activities (cheering up a depressed friend by driving all the way to Canada, cooking up lunch for the ladies), and for another, she learns more about her parents--that they're not perfect and have faults--and it makes her the better for it.
It's the kind of story that shows how much you learn from living--sure, getting a college degree is important if you want to land a job, but it's in understanding who the people around you really are--and still loving them--that makes a big difference. It is more difficult to do, but it also brings out a lot of good in a person: there's character to be strengthened--or if you start from scratch--built.