#123 – Keanu Reeves: Wisdom and Insights on Life, Love, and Presence

Stephen Colbert once asked Keanu Reeves, “What do you think happens when we die?” Keanu responded with, “I know that the ones who love us will miss us.” In this article, we delve into Keanu Reeves’ profound words and how they resonate with life, love, and presence.

There is a type of magnetism that world leaders, artists, successful entrepreneurs, and athletes embody. Many find themselves attracted to these figures because they embark on endeavors where they are able to tap into flow states of presence and mystify the masses with their craft.

These figures garner attention from the world and are adored. Some enjoy the limelight that comes with fame and prestige. I imagine the feeling akin to a heroin-like addiction where praise and attention become their own type of opioid.

There are a handful of people in the limelight that I look up to. Keanu Reeves is one such figure. If I ever get the opportunity to talk to him, I won’t be rushing for an autograph or a picture. I’ll just say thank you and here’s why.

Wisdom from Keanu Reeves

On Death

“None of us are getting out of here alive, so please stop treating yourself like an after-thought. Eat the delicious food. Walk in the sunshine. Jump in the ocean. Say the truth that you’re carrying in your heart like hidden treasure. Be silly. Be kind. Be weird. There’s no time for anything else.”

It’s easy to get caught up in the minutia of everyday life. It’s easy to forget that this trip will end soon. Knowing that I will not be here forever has quickly taken the weight of past baggage off of my saddles. It’s allowed me to gallop with more freedom. The destination doesn’t matter as much. I don’t take myself seriously because the idea of myself isn’t set in stone. It’s shaped by experiences, knowledge, and love that I’ve given and received from others.

On Tragedy

“So, in the end, I think we can all pretty well agree that even in the face of tragedy, a stellar person can thrive. No matter what’s going on in your life, you can overcome it! Life is worth living.”

There is no escape from life’s inevitable struggle with suffering. When my wife got ill, it turned our life upside down. We sold our home in an area that we both loved. At the height of my her illness, my mother passed away. Tragedy finds us all. However, in hindsight, I’ve always looked at every situation, be it good or bad, as an opportunity for growth. It’s allowed me to live more fearlessly. Life is the classroom, and the experiences are the teachers. I always carry this sentiment with me wherever I go.

On Presence

“Sometimes we get so caught up in our daily lives that we forget to take the time out to enjoy the beauty in life. It’s like we’re zombies. Look up and take your headphones out. Say hi to someone you see and maybe give a hug to someone who looks like they’re hurting.”

A few days ago I teared up looking at a young woman feeding and wiping her grandmother’s face because she had Parkinson’s. At that moment, my heart was filled with happiness.

On Kindness

“We are humans on a rock floating through space with a finite amount of time. So take that into account — how we treat ourselves, how we treat others and we are all in this together. Be excellent to each other!”

I know I’m insignificant. I hate to burst your bubble, but you are too, but it’s okay. We are trapped on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam as Carl Sagan once said. Knowing that everything we love will one day perish is a crazy predicament. It’s like we are all on the edge of a cliff and waiting to be pushed by some unknowable force, and none of us really know for certain where we’re gonna end up. For that reason, and that reason alone, it’s been my daily intention to be kind.

On Challenging Relationships

“Sometimes enemies are our best teachers; people can learn from their mistakes; destruction sometimes means rebirth.”

My biggest teachers in life have been those that I’ve had challenging relationships with. I don’t hold grudges and forgive faster than the speed of light because every single person is trying to find their tiny sanctuary of happiness. If wise, when others hurt us, we are able to shed our old skin and emerge only to transform into something new. Jiddu Krishnamurti put it beautifully when he said, “The fact is that life is like the river: endlessly moving on, ever seeking, exploring, pushing, overflowing its banks, penetrating every crevice with its water.”

On Substance

“I dream of a day where I walk down the street & hear people talk about morality, sustainability & philosophy instead of the Kardashians.”

There is lots of noise in the world. We are pulled into so many directions daily. We are asked to care about so many things that we don’t have control over. As I grow older, there is a dramatic shift on how I engage with the world around me. The words we we say matter and because they do, I’m careful what comes out because the things we think become our reality.

On Love

“If you don’t fight for your love, what kind of love do you have?”

Everything beautiful in life comes with sacrifice. The struggle is what makes love worthwhile.

On Vulnerability

“I wear my heart on my sleeve and that can hurt. To be vulnerable is an enriching way to live, but when it goes wrong it can be agonizing. But if you don’t open your heart to people, you end up being excluded from the rest of the world.”

When showing true vulnerability, I am able to cut through the brick walls people put up, and break them so I can see their true nature. Vulnerability adds richness to life. When I share my wounds with others, they may do the same, and when they do, we realize we are in this together.


I hope you found value in this post. Until next time.

With love,
Anand

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