An Engaged, Thoughtful and Kindly Presence

The New York Times recently interviewed Steven Spielberg and called him an engaged, thoughtful and kindly presence.

Ever since E.T. came out, I've wanted to be Steven Spielberg. But reading these words, I feel that tug even more strongly.

What a wonderful way to go through life: an engaged, thoughtful and kindly presence.

So many people enjoy a bit of success and let it go to their heads. Their ego swells or they rest on their laurels. They use the same formula, again and again and again, even after it stops working. Or—even worse—they use the same formula and become boring and utterly predictable.

At one point in his Times interview, Spielberg said, "I always said to myself if I ever achieve a success where I can decide what to do independently, I wanted to tell stories that are meaningful to me about people that did great things."

If money or power or ego is what drives you, then eventually you will disappoint your family and the people closest to you. But if you are driven by what is meaningful to you, then the sky is your limit.

By meaningful, I mean some sense or purpose, or a set of ideas. Are you curious about the world around you? Do you seek knowledge and insight, simply because, well, you seek knowledge and insight?

For your sake, I hope so.

Here's a simple, highly personal truth: if you genuinely wish to be an "engaged, thoughtful and kindly presence," I hope our paths cross someday soon. 

I would gladly spend the rest of my days working to live up to those five words.

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