So, I don’t love all of Jim Carrey’s humour. For example, potty humour doesn’t do it for me. I remember a scene from “Me, Myself and Irene”, where his character took a dump on the neighbour’s lawn, just to get back at him for something. It was gross and I almost left the room. Thank God I didn’t go see it in the theatre. That was the worst Jim Carrey movie I’ve ever seen.
But he has incredible talent and dedication to his craft. My kids love “Mr. Popper’s Penguins.” He was great in the “Truman Show”, even in “Bruce Almighty.” What I admire is that his is willing to try anything. He is ‘all in’ no matter what he is doing.
What does Jim Carrey have to do with My Simple Desires? Well, looking to be inspired, I had just watched an address of Oprah’s at Spelman College, when I looked to the right of the YouTube screen where more suggested videos pop up, and a commencement speech that Jim Carrey gave at Maharishi University of Management came up. It was INCREDIBLE! He was engaging and goofy, of course, but he was also extremely passionate, centred and wise. This man loves life, believes that all things are possible and exudes so much joy.
I wrote at least two pages of notes while I listened – little nuggets of inspiration and wisdom. For example, his dad could have been a comedian, but took the safe route and became an accountant. A job he later got fired from, that left his family are very hard times. At which point Carrey says “What I learned from my dad is that you can fail at something you don’t want, so why not take on chance on something you love!”
Carrey also watched his mother go through depression and always desperately tried to make her laugh. He was the clown at home just to help her feel joy. And one day, he articulated his life purpose: “to free people from concern.” That’s why he does what he does. “To free people from concern.” That is a pretty awesome life purpose. And as I have a current simple desire to articulate my own life purpose, the simplicity of his spoke to me.
As he spoke, he challenged the graduates with this question: “what do others need that your talent can provide? Because the effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is.”
Yes. Life is about our service to each other and each of us has a unique gift that we have to offer..
I have long admired anyone who is totally clear on what their gift is, and not only know it, but then trust it and follow it with all that they are. I think of people like Craig Kielburger who knew at age 11 his calling to free the children in developing countries from child labour, build schools and inspire youth. Ellen DeGeneres who embraces her comedy and has made her show into an exact expression of who she is. Arlene Dickinson who is a self-made millionaire, entrepreneur and author.
We all have similar gifts. Not that they are all grandiose and will lead to fame and riches (but they might). We just need to take the time to think about what they are and then do the work to trust them and follow them through. That is how we will lift this world to a higher plain and that is my simple desire.