A great human

Movie critic Roger Ebert has lost his voice, his ability to eat and drink and most of his jaw to cancer, but as this fantastic interview in Esquire shows, the man still has a lot to say.

Towards the end of the article, he sums up his life philosophy:

I believe that if, at the end of it all, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do.

To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts.

We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn’t always know this, and am happy I lived long enough to find it out.

That’s it – we’re here to be happy and make others happy. That’s the meaning of life.

Also, you can tell from the article that Ebert is still happy at work – indeed that writing is a large part of what keeps him going.

Go read the whole interview – it’s great! It had me in tears by the end.

5 thoughts on “A great human”

  1. I just read it last night and was similarly moved – quite an extraordinary man, and clearly a man blessed with an extraordinary wife. She’s been so supportive through Ebert’s terrible ordeal.

  2. Great words, and they got me thinking. It’s quite a blow to the whole top-performance hype, where life is about maxing out on achievements, succes, and working your butt off. Like you discuss in the many articles on the Cult of Overwork ect.
    Life is about making yourself happy, so you can make others happy. Rather sounds like something that can be achieved while still being home in time for an early supper… Love it.

  3. What an inspiring story!

    This bit really brought me up short.

    “Roger Ebert cant remember the last thing he ate. He can’t remember the last thing he drank, either, or the last thing he said. Of course, those things existed; those lasts happened. They just didn’t happen with enough warning for him to have bothered committing them to memory.

    What a reminder to pay attention to the little things. Really made me think.

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