Tuesday, July 18, 2006

How Do You Measure....

In the past I have mentioned that I have a passion for theater. Several years ago I purchased a copy of the CD for the musical Rent. The music and songs grew on me very fast, I really had a desire to see the show. I was unable to see it on so many occasions but I was always getting mixed feedback by friends that had seen it. What I found was they either loved it or they hated it.

I knew that Rent deals with many controversial issues and you have to be open to these issues or to at least accept the musical as just a fictional story.

Finally, in June of 2003 I had the opportunity to see Rent on Broadway. It was fantastic! The music was great and all the performers were outstanding. Since then they have made Rent into a movie and it has been released on DVD. Being a fan I did not hesitate to purchase it. Much of the original broadway cast also appeared in the movie, it was exciting for me to now see these performers in the roles they created on Broadway.

Recently a friend of mine saw a stage production of Rent and she was one of those that hated it. I just did not understand how anyone could hate it. Then I remembered the controversial issues that it deals with, that is the only conclusion that I can come to. But I felt that there was more that people were just not seeing. They had to be getting hung up on the characters, their lifestyles, bad habits and the face that it was a story of them trying to make it in New York City.

So I watched the movie again trying to pay closer attention to the words in the songs, the story lines and the way they all wove themselves together. I was still struggling to find what I felt was there but could not find what I believed was the meaning of Rent.

Then today as I read the blogs of my sister and brother, I was moved by their stories. Both of them have opportunities to influence kids and their lives on a regular basis. But something told me to watch Rent again. So tonight I came home and got right to it. The following is what I found...

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes...How do you measure a year? by daylights, by sunsets, by midnights or cups of coffee? This is one theme that keeps recurring through the entire show. There are only 525,600 minutes in a year.

To me that never meant much more than a nice way to make a song sound good. I mean did you ever really wonder how many minutes were in a year. We all know there are 365 days, 12 months, etc... But today I heard more than that. There are many other songs that all tie to this but none that pushes it quite like this new one I found...

There's only us
There's only this
Forget Regret
Or life is yours to miss.

No Other Road
No Other Way
No Day But Today...

I had heard this a thousand times and probably sang it in the car that many times again. Never really struck me as anything more than a catchy little tune that sounded nice.

Then it came to me. This reminded me of the Latin phrase Carpe Diem which means seize the day. Make the most of every opportunity.

I continued watching at how the characters interacted and the dialogue they had. I quickly learned that this was the message that I had been searching for.

I then thought back to my sister and brother's blogs and realized that when we have the opportunities to make a positive impact on someone's life we should take them. We have to make the most of each and every minute afterall there are only Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand Six Hundred of them in a year. You cannot dwell on the past and what you have or have not done but you can make the most of today and work to be a role model to make a difference.

Greg keep working to be that role model for "Joe". You will make a difference whether you see it or not. Someday "Joe" will remember the example you set. Just do not miss the opportunity to make a difference in his life.

To everyone if you have the chance to watch Rent or even just listen to the music I highly recommend it. It grows on you fast. But I do caution you of the controversial issues and language that is in it. A lot of people struggle with these and are unable to see the meaning of what is being said. We have to look beyond those things and find the message that is truly hiding in there.

It is easy to have regrets. We have to realize that the decisions and choices we made were the best at that time. We need to forget our regret or we will miss our lives. Let's live for today and make the most of each minute of every hour, of every day, of every month, of every year. Or however you choose to measure.


Greg and Christie said...

Great post and though I probably would have never wanted to see this movie I want to now. Thanks for the "shout out"! When you coming home?


Susan said...

I think it's a great post, Dan. I loved the movie and maybe you have helped me to see exactly WHY.

It's TIME for you to come home...I agree with G!!!

ALP said...

What a great post. I have not seen the movie but I have wanted to. Maybe now I will have to go out and rent "rent".


Grandma Callahan said...

Hi Dan: What a great way to get your thoughts in order. Sometimes I wonder IF I ever will do all I have set out to do in my life. I feel I have accomplished a lot in these almost 86 years, but still have a lot to do..and so little time to do them. Maybe God will be lenient with me just a while longer and allow me to finish some of my WANT TO's. My motto has always been...FIRST THINGS FIRST..and THIS TOO SHALL PASS. I hope I have instilled this in my family as they have grown, and matured.

I am very proud of my family from my husband , Allen, to my very latest grandchild. I hope I have done all I could to help them to have a wonderful and fulfilling life. God has been very wonderful to me and mine. Take care, Dan and know that I love you very much. Grandma Callahan