How does one live life to the fullest? We are always wondering why life is like this and like that – why there are always things that we can’t change no matter what we do. The truth is - Life is about loving, taking risks, accepting that there are certain things we just can't change and learning from our mistakes. Sounds like a cliché I know (lol). But when we really think about it, when we think and look back, our life has always been about loving, taking risks, accepting and learning from our failures. Everyday we are bombarded with situations that need our decisions – no matter how small and insignificant that decision is to others, it is a fact that along with that decision is a risk on our part the moment we choose how to react to a particular situation.
The Real Patch "Hunter" Adams
How can one truly live life to the fullest and effectively? To this question I think my answers are to accept one's limitation, to sing as if no one's listening, to dance as if no one's watching, to live as if there's no tomorrow and to touch another person’s life in a positive way. I remember watching Patch Adams years ago and even now as I watch it again and again, I still get teary eyed and emotional about the movie. Why? Because it speaks a lot about loving in its many dimensions – loving oneself, loving what we want and aspire in life, loving our friends & family, loving that very special someone, loving the feeling when one is able to help another human being in need. It also shows us that we shouldn’t quit just because we got hurt. It is only but inevitable that we get hurt once in a while – after all, that is one proof that we are still alive. It is a wonder how one man could have so much happiness in his heart and how he goes about sharing it to everyone! Not only did he improve the lives of terminally ill patients – he made it possible for the world to see how good it is to be alive and doing what God has designed and planned for us to become. There is always a reason for everything. (Yes, whether you like it or not! lol)
Patch Adams with his elderly patient & with kids. (Pictures were all taken from the Internet)
There are a couple of scenes from the movie that really just touched me in so many ways. The scene where Patch never gave up and made a bitter man’s life better by befriending him and outwitting him – yes, that terminally ill patient that shouts and throws almost anything within his grip!(lol) Patch brilliantly got to him, one night – dressed as an angel and later on outwitting the poor man with Patch’s choice of words and terms. Then there was this scene with Patch and the cancer stricken kids – what a darling! He really went nuts and went out of his way just to see them smile. Nothing could stop him from making another human happy just to be alive. Then the most romantic scene was when Corrine confided in him and confessed her love for him. She completely opened up to him and trusted him. Corrine spoke of her childhood envy of caterpillars which could "turn into beautiful creatures that could fly away untouched." The morning following their romantic interlude, we see Corrine still asleep in her bed under a window in the middle of which is the large stained-glass image of a butterfly. Patch had already read the first few stanzas of the poem during Corrine's surprise birthday party. And boy did I love and envy her balloons!(lol) Patch stood over her bed and reads a few more words from the poem: "I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where . . . " He never finished reading the whole poem to her because shortly after, Corrine died and Patch read the rest of the poem during Corrine’s funeral and he kissed the coffin in desperation as if kissing Corrine for the very last time. (sob... sob... :-( how tragic...)
By Pablo Neruda
I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you simply, without problems or pride:
I love you in this way
because I don't know any other way of loving
but this, in which there is no I nor you,
so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand,
so intimate that when I fall asleep
it is your eyes that close.
© Pablo Neruda
I remember going crazy over this poem so many, many, MANY times before! (lol) I was just then starting with my career as a Call Center agent and replied to everyone on the email thread and asked if anyone ever knew the poem from the Patch Adam’s movie – I know, I know – but I was desperate at that time! (lol) It was one of our superiors who emailed me the details of the poem and it was then when I found out about the poem’s title (I took the risks and learned – see? Life is indeed about loving, taking risks, accepting ones limitation and learning! lol)
Life is really worth living and savoring for – no matter how painful and discouraging our paths may sometimes seem. We just have to have faith and believe that our life’s journey is with a purpose. We just simply need to learn how NOT to quit when the going gets though. After all, nobody ever said life was going to be easy.