I am interrupting the previously scheduled discussion about putting the eco back in economics to take a moment to write about…movies.A recent report on Rodale.com says that happiness is contagious. I agree, so much so that I RARELY go to see movies that aren’t happy ones. I can feel bummed out for days after seeing a movie that ends badly. And life is too short to spend time feeling bad about something that isn’t even real.
On the other hand, seeing a happy movie stays with me, in a good way, for days. Thus, I highly recommend seeing the epic movie Australia, directed by Baz Luhrmann. (Baz is my favorite filmmaker. He is funny, sharp, and seems to fundamentally understand the role movies play in our lives.)
Anyway, I saw the previews for Marley and Me, which comes out this Christmas. As many of you know, I hired John Grogan (the author of the book that the movie is based on) many years ago. I had this totally weird moment watching the previews for the movie and remembering John telling stories about his dog over the lunch table. Little did we know then that it would lead to him and his wife being portrayed by Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston. John had absolutely no magazine experience when I hired him to be managing editor of Organic Gardening. But he was a passionate organic gardener and a GREAT writer. While I was sad when he left a few years later to stop managing and write more, a part of me was envious as well. He had a dream and he pursued it. What happened with Marley exceeded, I think, even his own wildest dreams. As a mutual friend of ours has said, “It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.”
His new book, The Longest Road Home, is also great. It’s about growing up Catholic. I am bringing copies for all my in-laws when we visit them this Christmas. I’m also going to try and go see Marley and Me this weekend.
One of the greatest gifts of my job has been getting to know so many people over the years. Not many of them have ended up famous. Most are just normal, good people who have worked hard, smiled a lot (or made me laugh), offered their talents, and aligned their dreams with ours, even if just for a while. Some come and go. Some disappear and I never hear from them again. Some pop up on Facebook. Some have died. And some—many—are still here. To all of you, whether we share a past, present, or future, I wish you health and happiness during this holiday season!
And as Baz knows: A life lived in fear is a life half-lived.