Discovering the Relevance of Words
Advanced theatre is reading the Medieval Morality play Everyman.
The story goes like this, God sends his messenger death for Everyman (who, quite literally, represents every man). Death goes to Everyman and tell him his day or reckoning has come and he must go before God to be judged. Everyman tries to find someone to go with him, but he is abandoned by Strength, Beauty, his Five Wits, even his good friend Knowledge fades away (all characters, by the way). Though they love him, Fellowhip, Kindred, and Cousin all refuse to make the journey with him; Goods insists he must stay here and cannot accompany him into the grave. In the end, only Good Deeds goes with Everyman into the beyond.
It a bit literal and perhaps a little cheesy to a modern audience, but the moral is quite clear. (Maybe that’s why it’s called a morality play)
But the play did get me thinking…
Seeking to answer the question I am about to ask, I would offer this: The only thing you can take with you after your final curtain call is that which you have left behind- Your gifts, kindness, inspiration, and effects on others.
When looking at your life as a complete narrative, a story with beginning, middle, and -though most of us fear it greatly- an end, what is it that is truly lasting. What matters in life when it reaches its final chapter?