Sunday, February 22, 2009
The saddest thing in life is wasted talent, and the choices that you make will shape your life forever.
Powerful! I wish I had thought of that myself, but it is one of the closing lines in the movie, The Bronx Tale. I was reminded of it on Friday night when I was watching 20/20. The kid that played in the Bronx Tale was being interviewed. Lillo Brancato is his name. He was in the Sopranos too. But his interview was not on some movie set, it was behind the bars of jail, where he will be sitting for about the next ten years or so. You may have read it in the paper, high on drugs, looking for more drugs, making the wrong choice, he got wrapped up with a guy who shot an off duty police officer. The cop heard glass breaking and called it in, made a choice, made the right choice, investigated it, and it cost him his life. And now Lillo Brancato is being asked if he remembers the last line of The Bronx Tale. Of course he does, and he quotes it as above. And it started me thinking, about the choices we make. How one split second decision can alter the course of your life. I guess I was on that subject on Friday because I had gotten a letter from my cousin, who is in jail, for murdering his mother and step father. Whenever I hear from him, it makes me wonder, how did that happen, how did a good, loving sensitive kid end up with a double life prison term. You can ask him, he probably doesn't know either. But it has to do with choices. Some choices are planned out, plotted, prepared, and executed with precision. But many are not, many are split second judgment calls. Hey, we all have made them, and looking back, I have made a lot of very poor judgment calls in my life, but somehow they worked out okay. I have made a lot of good judgment calls too, but at those moments,I wasn't thinking, good or bad, yes or no, pro or con, I just picked one, and thankfully it was the right one. So when I was thinking about this today, I was thinking life is full of choices, the gift of free will made it so. Each day, each moment, presents us with a choice, whispers in our ear, like the angel and the devil on opposing shoulders. And like Calogero C. Anello, said in the Bronx Tale, the choices you make will shape your life forever.