We were born alone and we will die alone… everything in between is just an illusion.
–George Zinavoy, The Art of Getting By
I wonder how life was like in George’s eyes (the film’s protagonist). Everyday, he has to juggle different layers of social dynamics with people and things around him he considered artificial. Like it wouldn’t matter if he did great in his artistic endeavor or consumed a lustful rendezvous with a beautiful girl, because he's haunted with the realization that he will die eventually. He’s resolved with facing death… alone. Even the memories of it all become futile because he can’t bring it with him in the after life. So, why bother? It's very convenient, if you'd ask me. Even liberating, perhaps.
But life is short and living like this makes it a tragic waste of time. So, how do we really make the most of our time? How do we “get by” this lifetime knowing that we have exhausted every means to make it worthwhile?
What is a worthwhile life anyway? Is it about being noble and selfless. Dedicating ourselves to uplift the lives of others. Or is it about enriching ourselves with worldly experiences, so by the end of our lives, we can say we have lived to the fullest.
It is a moral question we may face at least once in our lifetime. Some may bother to ask… while some may just give their cold shoulders. Is it still relevant to view it as an ethical issue, when everyone seems to be consumed about how far can they push themselves to achieve greater heights of freedom (economically, socially, politically, etc.) to alleviate their maybe downtrodden lives or to simply gain more affluence.
People revolve around the paradigm of consumerism, hyper-consumerism even (for some cultures). Is there any concern left on feeding our starving soul? Our insatiable gut seems to be an effective antidote to forget our intrinsic need to validate meaning out of our lives. Have we become masters of getting by?
Just asking another rhetorical question.
Of course, I don't mean to be preachy (duh!). I just wrote it all down because I liked how it sounded in my train of thought and how its undertones coincidentally mimicked my favorite muse, Carrie Bradshaw, whom my nom de plume took inspiration from! It felt like a good political speech or something! haha
On a serious note, I recommend this movie. It's a coming-of-age film. But the plot is very insightful. It can give an inpirational push for someone who needs a second coming-of-age!