Today we are going to talk about some of the good we can do in the world and use a well known example. So what can we learn and how can it help us to have an amazing life?
Actor Keanu Reeves from movies like John Wick, The Matrix, Speed, and Point Break. Keanu, despite being a superstar, is a very gentle and humble person. He is kind of quiet or soft spoken. There are a few stories out there about the good that he does. In an article on Nicki Swift they say “There are plenty of stories of celebrities doing nice things, especially when the cameras are on. Yet, few actors seem to be caught in the act as often as Keanu Reeves.” There are simple ones on a New York subway where he gives up his seat to a female passenger. Then, there is the time he stopped and pushed a ladies broken down car out of the road to safety. There are many truths to the reports of what Keanu has done but there are also many myths. Probably because Keanu does much of it without media or fanfare. But I think Keanu has figured out that his happiness comes from serving others!
Things have not always been easy for the actor. He was in fact abandoned by his father when he was 3 years old. He then grew up with 3 different stepfathers. He is dyslexic. His dream of becoming a hockey player was shattered by a serious accident. Keanu has had to deal with a lot of loss in his life. His daughter died at birth. His girlfriend and mother to their daughter died in a car accident. His best friend, River Phoenix, died of an overdose. His sister battled leukemia. Instead of any of these things stopping or in-bittering him, he has used them to launch himself forward. To find ways to bless the lives of others. This is a man who has and is probably still working on overcoming some deep pains and grief he has suffered. Losing a daughter, his wife, and then a best friend, man those things would not be easy. In fact on the subject of overcoming this grief Keanu said “Grief changes shape, but it never ends,” he said. “People have a misconception that you can deal with it and say, ‘It’s gone, and I’m better.’ They’re wrong. When the people you love are gone, you’re alone.” I’m betting he feels like his life has been difficult.
But Keanu is revered by fans, the media and coworkers because he always presents himself in a positive way. He works hard to be a nice person and to treat others well. There is another video of him walking through an airport and stopped by nearly every fan to take a picture with them. Keanu participated in Stand up to Cancer Telethon and he began his own foundation that has helped children’s hospitals and cancer research. Even with everything that has happened, Keanu Reeves never misses an opportunity to help people in need. Although it is sometimes hard to find reports because he does so much of it without putting his name on it. It was reported that when he was filming the movie “The Lake House,” he overheard the conversation of two costume assistants; One cried because she was going to lose her house if she did not pay $20,000. On the same day Keanu deposited the necessary amount in the woman’s bank account. Because of his easy going and positive outlook Keanu is beloved by fans everywhere.
So today we are talking about Keanu Reeves and how giving makes for an amazing life. We talked in the first half about how Keanu has gone through a lot of grief in his life. We talked about the instances that come up so often where he is kind and sensitive to those around him. Lastly, we talked about the money he has given away to assist those in need. Even through a foundation he set up in secret.
Keanu is doing what he can for those he can. For us it should be the same. We can treat people with kindness and mercy. Now it is more important than ever. We should want to treat others with respect. It doesn’t take a lot of money, or even time to change the world, it can be done with simple actions. Like in 2010, on his birthday, Keanu walked into a bakery and bought a baked good item with a single candle. He then ate it in front of the bakery, and offered coffee to people who stopped to talk to him. Also Keanu visited the Miller Children’s hospital that same year and spent time with some of the young patients. He has a spot in his heart for those fighting cancer and I bet it has to do with his sister’s battle. Not all of the things he does are in the millions. So even if you don’t have millions there are things you can do. It is about finding out what and how you can make a difference.
Keanu simply tries to live the life of a good person. In ‘97 he was found walking one morning in the company of a homeless man in Los Angeles, listening to him and sharing his life for a while. It is so important to listen to people rather than to judge them. This world needs people that treat others with respect and caring. This is something that is uncommon in much of our society today. We love to judge people and then disrespect those that see things differently than us. If you doubt this look through your Facebook or Linkedin feeds. Especially if someone posts something political. You can easily find people that want to tear apart others as they see things differently. So let each of us, like Keanu, simply choose to live the life of a good person.
I am going to rephrase a quote from Stephanie Rawlings-Blake Our Society is being destroyed by thugs who in a very senseless way are trying to tear down what so many have fought for, tearing down positivity, tearing down or destroying self esteem, things that we know will impact our world for years. Here is another quote “Lesson number one from the Lord’s vineyard: coveting, pouting, or tearing others down does not elevate your standing, nor does demeaning someone else improve your self-image. So be kind, and be grateful that God is kind. It is a happy way to live.” – Author: Jeffrey R. Holland
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