wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard
that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have
a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about
having to change, taking the moment and making the best of
without knowing what's going to happen next.
Radner died of cancer in 1989, so she knew before she
passed on that her ending wouldn't be what she might have
imagined it to be. Her cancer had gone into
remission but then returned and spread in her body, so she
knew that her time on this planet was very limited.
She wouldn't grow to a ripe old age. When she knew
that, she knew that "taking the moment and making the
best of it" is one of the most important things we
can do to make our lives full and dynamic.
don't have to know what's going to happen next. In
fact, most people take most of their actions based on what
they predict will happen as a result of those
actions. They have their lives all "planned
out," and they're disappointed and frustrated when
things don't pan out as they foresaw them happening.
What they don't realize is that they've just set
themselves up for the disappointment--had they kept
Gilda's words in mind, they would have realized that it's
not important that we know what's going to happen
next--because we simply can't--but that we act from our
hearts and take the actions that we feel we need to take
and let what will happen, happen.
knew a man once who took almost no actions at all, mostly
because he was afraid of what would happen if he
did. He was living a "comfortable" life,
and he was afraid that he might destroy that comfort if he
did anything differently. So he continued to do the
same things all the time, all the while growing more and
more frustrated because he wasn't taking any chances or
risks. On the outside he presented a contented
surface, but he was easily one of the most frustrated
people I've ever known. It will take a great
disaster in his life, probably, to push him out of the
"comfortable" ruts in which he's taken up living
In Colin Higgins' work Harold and Maude, Maude says, "A lot
of people enjoy being dead. But they are not dead,
really. They're just backing away from life.
Reach out. Take a chance. Get hurt even.
But play as well as you can." You don't have to
know if you're going to win or lose, or what any results
of your actions will be. But you do have to act if
you're going to live.