2005: Rent – Chris Columbus
Last weekend a friend commented to me how good it was to meet some positive young people (by which she meant teenagers) who had been at the same event as us. It seemed that she was surprised by this, given the general way in which teenagers are depicted in the media as the cause of most social ills, a sadly inaccurate assumption held by many. Last night my experience of bored teenagers was rather different and one that merely pandered to the tabloid stereotype. On reflection, their behaviour, however depressing and deeply frustrating, needs understanding. Their poor form of “protest” merely likely to encourage deeper enrenchment of outlook by both “adult” and “young adult”. A thought that occurs is that inspriation is somewhat lacking in a world that largely seems beyond their reach. This is where youthworkers, mentors, parents and teachers can all have a vital input. However, it is not just these people, we are all to some extent role models, whether we like it or not, we are the example. I am also meant to be the example, which to my mind means how I conduct myself, run a business, parent, manage, relate and so on. Like everyone else, (footballers take note) I get this wrong, often. Sorry! (Bankers and Politicians take note).
I wonder what sort of example I will be setting to my own children this Christmas. They know me well and would spot fakery, but equally notice genuine attempts to improve and be better, of course forgiveness is the key ingredient for this, being given another chance (again). For many people Christmas is not a joyous occassion, it is a time of stress and performance anxiety, will the food be ok? will the presents be what they wanted? enough? There are many that this year will already be regretting having spent too much – and we still have a few days left to spend even more. Families can be places of comfort and warmth, but they can be places of deep discomfort. The marketing hype of the “perfect Christmas” has little to do with reality or of course Christmas itself and can lead to further frustration that life is not all it is cracked up to be. The assertion that money will solve this awareness of “lack” is evidently misplaced, but as Jonathan Larson suggests in his muscial “Rent” a post-modern reworking of La Boheme (and one of my favourite musicals, but most disappointing translations to film): “I think that they meant it when they said you can’t buy love, now I know you can rent it” (from the song I’ll Cover You). It may sound like an odd thing for a financial adviser/planner to say, but investing for your future, has relatively little to do with financial wealth. I’m no believer that there is some sort of nobility in poverty, I believe in creating wealth and financial independence (I hope that is obvious), as a financial adviser I help measure how well your investments are doing, and for those clients that permit the discussion, help make sure that any financial plan is deeply rooted in your values – which has little to do with the size of yacht you want, but the depth of experience and relationships. As someone once put it – making sure your funeral is well attended.
Just a thought to leave with you for Christmas as perhaps you also reflect on yet another set of New Year resolutions. I guess that part of the reason behind the blog is to help you to see who is behind the marketing of the firm, which I think requires a certain level of self-disclosure, albeit in a “professional” capacity. Here is a video from Rent, the song called “Seasons” (a repeated idea in the score). How will you measure your next 525,600 minutes?
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