One of the take away's from this movie is to always looks beyond the surface. Maclaine's character comes across as a brash-brassy woman of power. The first glimpse of her exterior demeanor leaves you not liking her--even one tiny bit. As the obituary writer begins to peel the layers away, she discovers the under layers of good things which make Shirley who she is. The rough -brash- rude powerful woman did not become successful by accepting the mediocre of herself or anyone associated with her. While we all enjoy knowing the sweet little old lady next door, that sweet little old lady will leave a legacy only to those who she comes into direct contact with. There is certainly not one thing in this world wrong with that, but with a big personality and need for perfection from everything and everyone surrounding her, sometimes the legacy is much further reaching in the one who is not only not sweet--but can be down right in your face rude.
The second take away is the rich and powerful can also lead lives of isolation and loneliness. The lush and extravagant life style enjoyed by those who are wildly successful does not spell success relationally. Loneliness, isolation, and depression knows no boundaries. There is a scene in the movie when Shirley washes down a handful of sleeping pills with a bottle of wine. A desperate cry for help--help she is not willing to accept when it is offered. Certainly a reminder we all can become desperate. We all can be lonely. We all come to a point in our lives when we must examine how we have lived this gift of life we were given.
The third and final take away--it is NEVER too late to change. The reason my blog is titled "The Final Chapters" is to remind me to live purposefully today. I recently read of one who no longer wishes everyone "Have a good day!" Instead she now reminds everyone to "Have a purposeful day" Make everyday count! Be aware of those walking beside you--take the time to listen--take the time to act. Live life and live it well--as if today is your last day.
This secular movie and message reminded me of God's gift of life and my responsibility to use the gift to its fullest. Shirley went out dancing and celebrating life. I pray we all can know when the final word is spoken it will include, "Well Done"!
"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant!
You have been faithful with a few things;
I will put you in charge of many things.
Come and share your master's happiness!'