Choosing Your Own Path: Lessons from Swami Vivekananda and Cinema3 min read

author’s capture of Swami Vivekananda Rock and memorial on January 1, 2000

Everyone should visit the rock in Kanyakumari at least once. This is the place where Swami Vivekananda swam to and meditated about his future plans. Now, imagine this. Swami Vivekananda could have chosen any path in the materialistic world, but he decided to follow a different one. This doesn’t mean that everyone has to become a monk like him, but it’s important to remember that everyone has their own unique path in life.

Sometimes, you might be naturally talented at something but choose to walk a different path. Or, you might be born into a family that expects you to follow a certain career, but you don’t want to. Or, halfway through your life, you might realize that you don’t want to continue on the path you’re on. In all these cases, you have the power to choose your own journey. There are many movies that showcase this, such as Good Will Hunting. Rush and The Shawshank Redemption.

In the movie ‘Good Will Hunting’, the lead character is extremely talented in math. He could have become a famous mathematician like Ramanujan. But, he chooses to go on a different path in life. This surprises his professors who wanted him to join them in their research.

In the movie Rush, the story revolves around two Formula 1 racing drivers, Niki Lauda and James Hunt. Despite being naturally gifted and well-positioned to succeed in the racing world, Lauda chooses to retire after a near-death experience, realizing that his life path involves more than just racing. On the other hand, Hunt, despite his reckless lifestyle and lack of discipline, pursues his passion for racing relentlessly, demonstrating that individual choices often shape our life path, regardless of our natural abilities or circumstances.

In ‘The Shawshank Redemption’, the protagonist, a banker wrongfully convicted of murder much like Dr. Richard Kimble in ‘The Fugitive’, uses his knowledge and skills to survive life in prison. Despite the odds being against him, he chooses to maintain his innocence and hope. His determination eventually leads him to freedom, demonstrating that even when life puts us on an unexpected path, we still have the power to shape our destiny.

“Wisdom’s Path, Cinema’s Enigma”. image by author using DALL.E-3

In conclusion, Life is a journey with many paths. It is essential to remember that we are the architects of our own life, and we have the power to choose our direction, regardless of the circumstances or expectations. Whether it’s Swami Vivekananda choosing a spiritual path, the characters in the movies choosing their unique destinies, or us in our daily lives, the power of choice is always in our hands. On this day, let’s honor Swami Vivekananda’s legacy by embracing our individuality and forging our unique path, staying true to ourselves and our aspirations. Just like Vivekananda, let’s strive to make a difference in the world in our own unique way.

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