The Greatest Thing You’ll Ever Learn: Be Bad for Business

Posted on September 25, 2013

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Bad for BusinessFor the first time ever, the most viewed post on my blog is not my “About” page.

Instead, it is this post, which I wrote to let people know that I had started a new relationship — the blog equivalent of changing my relationship status on Facebook. Looking at it now, three years later, it is, perhaps, a tad more subtle than I thought at the time.

Sadly, and yet fittingly, the relationship the post is intended to announce ended about a year after it was written. I say, sadly, because it was the end a good thing; I say, fittingly, because the post was about the movie Moulin Rouge and about whether or not it is worth risking everything for love. Three years or so later, I’m glad I risked everything for love, even if, in the end, I lost it. The sweet edged lack of a lost love is far better than the empty hollow of what might have been.

Every choice we make cuts off a hundred million billion possibilities and every choice opens up a hundred million billion more. The choices we make for love are no different and no more special, in that respect. They are unique, however, in that they are choices made both for a person and an ideal. A choice made for love is both personal and universal, immanent and transcendent. In and for love, these distinctions are meaningless.

A friendly critic once said of my writing that I have nothing to say, which may be true, but I suspect it may sometimes seem that I have nothing to say only because what I have to say isn’t terribly new, complicated or profound. You, I, we know all the things we need to know to live happy, healthy lives; it’s really just a matter of making choices in line with that knowledge and finding new ways to remind ourselves of that fact.

But, in case you are wondering, in case I have been a tad too subtle once more, let me write it plain: yes, it’s true, “the greatest thing you’ll ever learn is to love and be loved in return.” I’m glad I have learned it, felt it, and will gladly throw my life away for one more happy day, if I’m ever so lucky to have the chance to do it again. We could, after all, be heroes.

But, I should let Ewan explain it.