First off, I’ve never read the book. But when I saw the trailer for Revolutionary Road, I knew what it was about. I watched the movie and loved it. I resonate with its message. If you haven’t seen it, and you work in corporate America, go see it. It’ll open your eyes.
I was talking to a coworker of mine, and all her friends who saw it or read the book said it was depressing. I asked her why? She said the ending was just so sad. I agreed. The question becomes why it ended like that?
Then I asked if she knew what the movie was about? She thought for a moment. I proceeded to tell her that the insane character in the story was the only sane person in the movie. That I thought he was the voice of the author. He used the words “Hopeless emptiness”. What the insane person was referring to was corporate America, following the crowd, doing the safe thing.
My coworker then realized something. The book and movie made everyone rethink their lives. A huge smile grew on my face. “That’s exactly right,” I said. But not everyone wants to look at their lives and realize what they’re doing might not be what they want. Why not? Is it better to live a life of hopeless emptiness than to find something that is meaningful?
What’s the difference between working at a job that has no meaning, and a homeless person who begs for money? You might answer, “Working people don’t have to beg for money. They have a house, can buy their own food, go on vacations, blah blah blah.”
How many people out there, working in a job they have little passion in, yearn for the weekends? Or are afraid of losing it, so they put in countless hours, toiling away at something they don’t like? How many of us wake up and can’t wait to go to work? I can safely say that 95% to 98% of the American population have no passion in their jobs. It’s not a criticism on them. It’s a criticism on the system. Most people need their jobs to support themselves. Have your day job. But find your passion. If money were of no concern, what would you love to do? Paint? Write? Teach? Be a world traveler? Be physicist? What?
Look at all the people we admire. I mean truly admire. People like Donald Trump, Oprah Winfrey, J.K. Rowling, Warren Buffet, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Cate Blanchett, Robin Williams, etc. They all have one thing in common. They’ve followed their passions.
The couple in Revolutionary Road had passion early in life. Then they veered away from it and became unhappy, unsatisfied, following the crowd, molding themselves to be liked by others. When they remembered and pursued their passion for life again, making the decision to move to Paris, they became enthusiastic. They were energized. But the character played by Leonardo Dicaprio had severe doubt and fell back to his limited ways of thinking. And that is the true tragedy of the story. Everything bad that happened afterward was the result.
Are you brave enough to look at your life? To say I want something different? To go for it?
Ask yourself this. When you’re at work, what do you feel? You don’t have to tell me, or anybody else. Be honest.
Some people die at 25 and aren’t buried until 75. –Benjamin Franklin.