“What we produce will fail. But what happens to us in the producing of it is eternal.”
I am trying to finish Ken Gire’s Reflections on the Movies so I can go on to some other books. This week, I read his chapter on The Dead Poets Society and now I want to watch that again. Gire’s discussed one of the key phrases in the movie, “carpe diem” (seize the day). Related to this, he told a story about what he learned from his Hebrew prof in Seminary. Here it is:
I have forgotten many of the things in that professor’s classes. But I haven’t forgotten that particular day in class or what he said. he said simply, “What we produce will fail. But what happens to us in the producing of it is eternal.”
Gire discusses this further:
What he (his Hebrew prof) was trying to show us was this. The sermons or books or churches we might one day produce weren’t nearly as important as what would happen to us in the producing of them. That is what is eternal. And it’s the eternity of our lives, not the futility of them, that should motivate us to seize the day and live extraordinary lives.
That is a little different message than the one in The Dead Poets Society.
When we leave this world, the trophies get left behind. It doesn’t make any difference whether the trophies are for athletic, academic, or artistic achievement, or some other kind of achievement.
The only things that go with us are the things produced in us. 168
Now that is worth thinking about a bit more!