I was channel surfing on the TV the other day when I came across an old favorite movie of mine, Dead Poets Society, with Robin Williams. Robin William’s character, John Keating, is an English professor at a conservative boys’ prep school, set in 1959. His unorthodox teaching style inspires his students to develop a love for poetry but also how to overcome their fear of making changes in their lives.
It had been years since I had watched the movie, so I decided to watch it again. The first time I watched it I didn’t have children of my own and I thought it was a great and uplifting movie. But as life moves on, so does the way I look at things.
Fast forward many years later to where I am now a mother of two and a school teacher. The movie has now taken on an entirely different meaning. While watching the movie, I found myself grabbing a piece of paper and taking notes of inspirational scenes and quotes that I could use with my children, students, and as an author in my quest to inspire and help children, teens and adults.
One scene in particular had a strong effect on me and has become my favorite scene in the movie. It unfolds with John Keating in a huddle with his students in his classroom where he recites and compares a poetic verse by Walt Whitman to real life:
John Keating: We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.
To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?”
Answer: That you are here – that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be? (Source, imbd.com)
The last line is the most powerful of all, “What will your verse be?”
(Watch the video clip at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_zsMwCOoEs)
Is your child trying to find their verse? Do they even know what it is?
Next week I will be posting on how to help your child (and you) find their verse in life.