“Dreams do come true, if only we wish hard enough. You can have anything in life if you will sacrifice everything else for it.” ― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
One of my favorite movies as a kid, and still is to this day, is the film Hook. Steven Spielberg’s take on a Peter Pan that grew up. If you’re not familiar with the film, it stars the late Robin Williams, who also happens to be the only movie star I’ve ever wanted to meet. I took Mr. Williams’ passing as many did, harsh. On the day the news hit, my best friend actually called me from Hollywood, where he lives, to ask if I was ok. I can’t specifically pinpoint what it was that drew me to this actor, but a major connecting force was his compassion, and you could see it on-screen and off. Also the fact that I was six years old when I saw Hook for the first time. I suppose that I put myself not in the shoes of the hero, Pan, but I found that I related more closely to the young, Jack, in the film, Pan’s son. I didn’t have a father when I was growing up, so to think and imagine to be in Jack’s shoes, having Peter “flocking-flying” Pan as a dad, was a very magical thought for a young kid.
To this day I listen to John Williams’ score of the film and I’m instantly soaring through the skies with Peter. So how do I relate my love of this story and film to sacrifice? Quite easy really. Once Peter spent some time in Neverland with the Lost Boys, he began to remember that he indeed once was the great, Pan. All of his memories, good and bad, came rushing back to life and he instantly remembered his “happy thought”, which allowed him to once again fly. Peter was so enthralled in finding out who he truly was, that he nearly forgot the purpose that brought him back to Neverland in the first place; his children having been kidnapped by Captain Hook. At the end of the battle scene you’ll hear a beautiful piece of music being played over the scene as Peter says goodbye to his Lost Boys one final time. Peter realized that his love for his family was much greater than soaring through white fluffy clouds on the wings of the air. He realized that never growing up meant to never see those that he loved with all of his heart. And though Peter, deeply loved Neverland and the Lost Boys and flying, he knew he had to be there to watch Jack grow up.
Any parent in the world will tell you that to love your child it will require sacrifice. You may not be giving up Neverland, or maybe you are. Really, it seems that any calling placed on our lives tends to be greater than us. We feel truly unfulfilled when our callings are not met. This un-fulfillment is far greater than any sacrifice that could ever be asked of us, even if it’s our own lives. Selfishness, selflessness, and sacrifice; this is the pattern we follow, more appropriately this is the pattern we should hope to follow. Initially it is a selfish motive that makes us pursue something; it’s a desire for more or for better but always for ourselves. Then we find that we are even happier when we perform selfless acts; when we come to a place that we’ve selfishly established we find that helping is the real reason. Finally and ultimately we sacrifice a lot or a little of ourselves and our establishments; those sacrifices will look as different as the people behind them.
I believe life will always ask of us to make certain sacrifices, small and large. These givings of yourself will add to the sum total of a life well-lived.
“If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery–isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It’s the only good fight there is.”
― Charles Bukowski, Factotum