Look, I know that most of the time I probably come across as a cynical bastard. And, I’m okay with that… mostly because I’m a cynical bastard. However, every once in a while I am not. Today’s post is one of those times.
Thought of the Day – What I Wish I Meant?
by Senator Brett
Several nights ago, while spending time with my niece Tessa, I watched the British version of the Japanese animation film “The Secret World of Arriety,” which for those of you that do not know, is based on the classic children’s book “The Borrowers.” The copy that I had included the English subtitles that the Japanese producers of the film included in their DVD set. And, I don’t know about you people, but whenever I watch a film with subtitles I can’t help but read along, no matter how hard I try not to.
In one particular sequence one of the characters says, as they are leaving their home and saying goodbye to someone, “Take care of yourself”… however, the subtitle read, “I hope that you have the best life ever.” And it got me to thinking…
How I wish I felt this way. Or better yet, how I wish we all did. So oftentimes we say, “Take care of yourself” to those we love, but it’s more of a “goodbye” and not so much as a wish or a blessing. Oftentimes, if not most of the time, we casually say it just as an ending to the conversation, “Goodbye… take care of yourself.” We end phone conversations or short visits with the phrase because a lot of time we don’t know what else to say. And, truth be told, we end relationships and friendships with those very same words. “Take care of yourself” can, and is, sometimes a nice way of saying, “We will probably not see or speak for a very long time, perhaps not even ever again.”
Look, I know it was probably just a translation misunderstanding on the part of the editors of the film. But… well… maybe it wasn’t. I don’t know a lot about Japanese culture, but maybe they knew exactly what they were saying, and to them “take care of yourself” means “I wish you the best life ever.”
I know it would sound weird saying this to people… I know… I get it. It’s not very cool. But imagine how good a person would feel if instead of you telling them to take care of themselves you sincerely wished them to have the best of all possible lives. Or instead of saying, “I’ll see you around” you said, “I wish you love and laughter.” Having had the break-up “take care of yourself” conversation a few times in my life I know, without second thought, that I should have said, “I wish you the best life ever.” I know that there are people from my past that I’ve lost touch with, for one reason or another, that I wish I could go back and say, “I didn’t know it then, but I won’t see or talk to you for a long long time… but in that time I hope you have a fantastic and brilliant life.” How many times have I said those words to my mother as a way of getting off the phone or getting out the door?
I know that I probably wont’ change. It’s hard. Honestly, saying “Take care of yourself” is second-nature to me now. So, instead of worrying about me changing what I say… I think I’ll worry about what I mean when I say it. I hope that I can honestly get to a point that when I say, “Take care of yourself” I mean, without second thought or hesitation, “I wish you the best life ever.”
Or, maybe I just wish that real life came with subtitles!
Your Friendly Senator