I’ve never seen the movie “Network“, but I’ve seen the pivotal scene from the film more than a few times and I was drawn to finding it today on YouTube. If you’ve never seen it, here it is:
But what was it that brought me to this?
This is seemingly the 3rd post that jumps to mind for me that deals with some kind of rage (see “Choking On Our Own Rage”) or being pissed off (see “Non-Stop, Full Tilt, Every Day Mayhem” with Ray Lewis’s speech on being “pissed off for greatness”) or today about being mad as hell. Am I just some kind of bitter angry person? One of those cranky old curmudgeons who shakes his fist on his front porch at the kids to gell off of his lawn? The guy who finds nothing to be happy about, but more than a little to complain about? Thankfully, no… I am none of these things… although who doesn’t enjoy a good moment of declaring how things were so much tougher/better when they were growing up and how kids have it SO easy these days? It’s damn therapeutic, I tell ya.
However, the video came to mind for me as I thought about the power of never feeling too satisfied with the state of things. We all get incredibly busy with work, family, friends and rushing around at a hectic pace. I may be just imagining it and maybe its just my own life, but everything feels to be at an accelerated pace over the last year or so. More to do and less time to do it. Doing this for a few days or weeks is manageable, but over longer periods of time, it’s easy to forget about everything going on around you… because you haven’t really stopped to take a look.
And that’s why… every once in a while… we each need to feel truly dissatisfied and maybe get mad as hell. Not angry in the sense of being pissed off at your fellow man or mindlessly shouting to the heavens for some kind of ephemeral justice. No, it needs to be that dissatisfaction with our own lots, lives or situations where we get pissed and think, “No more senseless autopilot… there’s got to be something better out there…” Or in the words of on-the-edge news anchor Howard Beale in the video above, you need to say “I’m a human being, goddammit! My life has value!”
Because when you get to that point of being dissatisfied, you suddenly improve the opportunity for a change to really occur. Really and truly to happen. The alternative is to just feel that nothing will ever improve and whatever you are experiencing at this moment is just as good as it’s going to get. Is that what you want? I don’t want that for me and I certainly don’t want that for you.
So the next time you feel that gnawing sense in your gut that you should be able to have something better… there should be more than what is immediately in front of you… don’t stifle it out as a kneejerk reaction and don’t feed it as anger for the sake of anger. Both are senseless and can be destructive (or in Stars Wars, lead to the path of the dark side). Instead, let’s make it that extra push to shake us from our complacency and get a little more for ourselves, our families, our friends and anyone else we care about.
The present may be tough, but since the only constant in life is change… why not make that work for us? We’re human beings. Our lives have value. And settling belittles all of us a little bit at a time.