Selfish.


So the other day, my friend and me sat together watching one of those movies where a group of scientists decide to investigate the phenomenon of time travel-in this case, backwards, to try to go back in time to fix some error that they believed happened in the middle ages 🙂 Gerard Butler was one of these scientists..he was still very young and Oh-so-drool worthy. His eyes..those eyes! #Sigh! But that is another story.

Anyhow, some of them went back in time, while some others stayed in our own time, just to make sure that they could serve as some sort of portal for the returning scientists.

In the era they had returned to, they were supposedly footmen-soldiers who had to fight on the side of France-I forget who they were fighting against. Anyhow, they got there…and of course met some beautiful women..made some new friends..you know the drill.

The war begun. They had fought for several months(which didn’t really amount to the same amount of time in our own time)..anyhow, their presence in this time of course, tilted the balance of some things-they were able to offer their knowledge about the events that occurred after the said time in history(from what they had learned in their history books), and as a result, help avert some of the said ills.

Gerard Butler’s character had been one of those who went back, and he met-and fell in love with a woman from that time. So, when their duty was done in that era-when it was time to go home, he could not bear to leave his love. He could not wait to meet her-or her grandchild, in his own world. He opted then to stay and make a life for himself in that world, where his love was.

My friend was beside herself. She could not get over the fact that a person would leave life-as we know it, as he had known it, and decide to live in a world where everything was new and foreign and alien-and all because of a woman he met there whom he fell in love with.
It is selfish, she said. To leave his parents, who must have invested so much in him. His brothers and sisters, with whom he had shared the better part of his growing up days. Who had been instrumental, directly or not, in helping to shape him to the man he had become. His friends who have gone to school with him, those who love him, who care for him. Selfish to take himself away from the lives of those who love him because he fell in love and decided he wanted to spend the rest of his life with this woman who had come to mean life itself to him.

I totally agree with her. In fact, she could never be more right. If he didn’t go into this era and meet this other woman, he would have come back to life as we know it, and he would have most likely met and married a woman with whom he would’ve been able to make a beautiful life and  have beautiful kids with. His mother would’ve gotten the chance to be a grandmother-to dote on her grandchildren. He would’ve gone on to become a great scientist, who would write papers and journals on time travel-its pro’s and cons. He would’ve been called upon to speak at different events about his uniquely personal experience on time travel. He would be a great and relevant man-in the circles where these things are relevant.

 Instead, he chose to stay in an era where, he would continue to be a footman in the French army. He would continue to be relevant-Protecting a country is no mean feat and requires a lot of dedication and personal courage. He would risk his life. He would be ready at all times to fight-those days, as now, were very volatile-the only difference really now is that the weapons of warfare have changed.
He chose to stay because he chose to love.

Therein lies my problem. Is that selfishness? Isn’t selfishness, perhaps, the decision not to love anyone apart from one’s self? I dont know. I’m still thinking about it.

Are people-our family, and our friends, selfish for expecting us to be with someone whom they ‘approve’ and endorse, because even though it changes a few things, it does not upset the balance they have come to establish?

Are we selfish if we choose to be with someone with whom we chose to be with because we see in them what others do not,and vice versa? Because we choose to give joy and happiness to someone we want to? Because we know a person can make us happy and we do not want to compromise that? Because want to live a happy life-something that millions can only grasp at?

The movie never said how Gerard Butler’s character would’ve turned out in our own time-no one knows the future,we can only guess at it by the actions and decisions we make daily. But even then, one of the constants in life is how it continues to surprise us. It never turns out quite like we expected.

Years later, in France, an old tombstone was found-with Gerard Butler’s character’s name on it, buried alongside his wife-the same woman whom he’d supposedly left everything for. He died a happy, fulfilled, content man. The tombstone said that.

Did he really leave ‘everything’?

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