Have you seen this movie ‘Life As a House’ with Kevin Kline? My husband and I watched it last night for the 3rd time. It is one of those films that you don’t mind seeing many times because it has so much heart.
It’s about a man (Kevin Kline), diagnosed with terminal cancer, and the summer he spends with his troubled teenage son for whom quality time means getting high, engaging in small-time prostitution, and avoiding his father. Kline, a disconnected and uninvolved dad, has finally awoken to his own neglect of his son and steps up to remedy the situation by bringing him to live with him for the summer.
Together, they tear down an old house and to build a new one. It is in the building of this house that the son begins to love his father again. From rocky beginnings, they form a connection – and that connection takes them through the eventual death of the father.
What I love so much is how the movie shows the power of love and its ability to transform our lives.
George (Kline’s character) had not been an easy or loving man and he had definitely bailed on his son. The self-destructive behaviors in his son were obvious. Furthermore, George’s disconnect from his own life had left him very much alone and unable to connect with people or happiness.
His illness was the perfect wake-up call, inviting much-needed change to the way he did things.
What’s interesting to me is that the moment George chose to love his son and step up to become his dad rather than giving up on him, George’s life began to change for the better.
I love this movie because of the simplicity of the lesson. When you put love into the world through what you do, how you treat others, and your commitment to things it comes back to you in the form of the people and events that are drawn to you.
It’s not that hard… people wonder how to be happier and they wonder how to make good connections. There are a lot of lonely, unhappy people in the world and a lot of them feel like victims of a world that doesn’t care. The true secret to life is, indeed, to share the best of you with others – to love others, commit to great goals, become involved in great projects and spread a lot of love in the world.
And the key – do it because you GENUINELY CARE. This is not something you undertake in the hopes of making your life a better place. No… that just creates hardship and struggle and a savior complex that attracts people who want to be saved.
When you genuinely cultivate your ability to love – truly love – other people, to have compassion, empathy and kindness for REAL – that is when the MAGIC happens.
So what’s your story? Where have you seen this principle active in your life?