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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Have You Ever Met True Happiness?

After watching the film The Pursuit of Happyness several times, I began to realize that something was missing from the film. I had so many unanswered questions. At times the film lacks dialogue and depth, and I guess that bothers me; it feels empty and so much is unexplained.

For those of you who have not seen the film, Will Smith portrays a man who raises himself from the abyss of nothingness and total despair to a position of great achievement. The audience patiently observes how this man basically loses everything he has over night and finds himself without money, home or wife. The only thing life allows him to keep is his son. Throughout the film he ferociously fights, pretends, cries and suffers quietly so that his son may live oblivious to the chaos that surrounds them both. One very poignant scene takes place in the bathroom of a train station where both father and son spend countless nights locked up while Chris Gardner studies and works to not only pass his stock broker exam but to prove that he is worthy of a distinguished position within the firm.

Of course, the film has a happy ending and it is the ending that gives me most pleasure as a viewer. After being welcomed into the firm and claiming his long awaited prize, Chris walks down the steps of the building onto the sidewalk and into a barrage of people. He walks in slow motion, in a daze, claps his hands gently with tears in his eyes. He is beyond happy; he is delusional; he is amazed. Months of carrying his personal belongings around from place to place, months of washing himself and his son in a public restroom sink and months of sleepless nights have lead him to that one specific moment of pure and utter happiness. He walks amongst others but for him there are no others; he walks that sidewalk alone, knowing that no one could possibly know what he has suffered or what he has accomplished. He claims this amazing triumph and victory all for himself. He has slain the beast and won. He stands tall, confident and powerful. What could stand in his way now? "Nothing," he whispers to himself. He has no one to tell, no one to celebrate with, except his one and only constant companion and so he runs to his son with overflowing joy. Love has given him the has made him whole again.

I don't know if every single person out there has ever felt this insurmountable joy before, but I have...twice in my life. The first time occurred when I graduated from college with my bachelor's degree. I felt I had climbed Mount Everest and made it back alive. I was King, :) no Queen of the World, and I could do anything I set my mind to do. The second time I felt such overpowering happiness was when my first son was born and I became a mother for the first time. After trying to have a child for awhile and being unsuccessful, I had begun to accept that it was God's choice. However, the Lord blessed us with a son, and although for awhile we worried about some of his health issues, the Lord blessed us again and made him healthy. The night my son was born I finished a book I had been writing for him since I discovered he was on his way. Reading the last few pages of that book today, I see how I too was in that same delusional state, much like the one Gardner is in as he walks down those steps.

If you have not yet seen The Pursuit of Happyness with Will Smith, please do. However, the film only touches on a minuet portion of this man's story. Therefore, to learn the other 90 percent of the story, I recommend you read Gardner's book also entitled The Pursuit of Happyness. In his own words and stories, I found the why and the how to my questions. To better understand a man's life, his struggles, his weaknesses and his strengths, you must hear it in his voice, see it on his face and live it through his eyes.

Real World Connections additional post and video clips


  1. Thank you for this! I'm putting together a list of movies to watch this summer especially since I really haven't had the luxury to do so because of an extremely stressful academic year.

    This is definitely going on my list! Do you have any other movie suggestions?

  2. I have seen the movie.I loved it.It inspired me a lot.And I also had questions in my mind like you...What is true happiness..I haven't come across that moment in life yet but I must keep pursuing it..isnt it?

  3. Princessa03

    Click on "film" in my category section and you will see other inspirational films I recommend.

    Hope the best for you. Hang in there, learn and have fun doing it. You will survive as Gloria Gaynor would say. :)

  4. Hi Sam

    I hope to write more on "What is true happiness" in the future. As I mention in my post, I have only felt that immense unexplainable joy 2 times in my life. It cannot be adequately described. It must be felt.

  5. Haven't seen the movie, but have read Gardner's book. I thought this was a phenomenal character portrait. Improbable surroundings and events, nonetheless, a well-developed plot--to make for a most entertaining read.

  6. Excellent! I loved your post. :) I am honored that you put a link to my post. :D Great job - keep up the excellent work!

  7. I remember watching this movie with a constant lump in my throat. I imagine reading the book would be insightful, as it would give us his thoughts and inner feelings- something not easily shown on the screen.

  8. I know exactly what you are talking about. Sometimes it does seem like an awful long road to the happy ending part. The happy end arrives and you are in pursuit of the next happy ending.
    Some of the roads are really bumpy though. You learn to jump high and land soft over those.

  9. I believe that we are all blessed with those moments throughout our life, and search for them always. As long as we don't get too caught up in searching to forget to recognize them.. Great site. I LOVE the word of the day. My 4th graders teacher has a word wall and they have to learn new "big" words and thier meanings and he is always using them on us. Words like "misanthrope" I told him that, that was what I am, and he was horrified! LOL I'm really not, but it was fun to tease him anyhow. :) and your word of the day gives me ammo to use back at him.. How sad, I need help finding big words to challenge my 9 yr old.. LOL

  10. I felt this was the appropriate place to leave you a message. Proof Positivity is moving forward! The principal at my sons school has to talk to a lawyer but that's just a technicality. I'm so excited I can hardly contain myself. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

  11. Namaste' it is so true that with challenges comes great reward, IF we are courageous enough to see the adversity through, and not get stuck in the mucky middle, and allow it to drown us.

    I have not seen this movie but then again it took me YEARS to finally see Forrest Gump, I would hear people say things like life is a box of chocolates or other things from that movie but had NO idea what the heck they were talking about, hahaha.

    I saw that movie (Forrest Gump) for the first time not even two years ago, and gee when did it come out? ten years ago or more I believe hahaha. But it certainly resonated with a bit of how I lived my life so conected immediately.

    So I eventually will get to this movie as well. :0) Your write up is exemplary, you should be writing reviews for T.V and magazines!!!

    I have experienced what you describe in your own two times with the birth of your son, and your degree attaiment, many times over now in my life, but each of those experiences is treasured and honored beyond words.

    Not easily come by, and earned the hard way.

    It cannot be described.

    It can only be felt, so true dear one, for it will overtake your entire being and feel as if you have left your physical self momentarily and all ego is certainly left behind.



  12. I haven't seen this movie yet, but it is on my 'list'.
    I would also have to agree and say that I, too, have experienced complete and utter happiness with the birth of each of my children.
    ..That truly is a joy like no other.

  13. I'm very happy to remember me The Pursuit of Happiness.I have seen the movie.It made me cry, and I learned
    a great lesson in it.There is a God for all kind people such as, rich, poor and middle class.If anyone continues to be determined to aim toward success; success shall receive
    at the end.

    From: Evodie 0021

  14. Wow! I will have to check this movie out. With the kids I am lucky to watch anything but Nickelodean. Thanks for the tip.

  15. Hey Mar,

    Just stopping by to say hi. I have been wanting to watch this movie for the longest time. Maybe that's what I'll do tomorrow afternoon. Have a good one. Blessings!


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