Don’t you just love those humbling moments when you’re reminded of just how blessed you are? Well, I just had one of those while reviewing the documentary This Is Not a Film.
At the center of the story is Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi, who has been banned from making movies for 20 years and sentenced to six years in prison for what his country’s government called collusion. The documentary captures a day in the life of the filmmaker who is confined to his house, prohibited from leaving Iran and barred from practicing the activities that define him — no directing, no screenwriting, no giving interviews.
Can you imagine being in his shoes?!
I thank God for the favor He has bestowed upon me, allowing me to have a career that I absolutely love. Just having the freedom to express myself through writing and dance is an amazing opportunity, but I don’t always see it as such. All too often I complain about the trivial things like having to work on Martin Luther King Day or having to face traffic on the drive in to the office, or having to rehearse early on a Saturday morning instead of sleeping in, when there are people on the other side of the planet fighting — legitimately fighting — to be content and content doing the work that brings meaning to their lives.
Seeing Panahi’s struggle in This Is Not a Film did something to me. It’s a crucial reminder to do what I love and love what I do.
That said, I’ll write a little more joyfully, and dance a little more emphatically, and go full out in all that I do, as if my life depends on it. Because it does.