A series of choices…with a side of Willem Dafoe

With the clear exception of VW’s Darth Vader, the Super Bowl ads were an embarrassment of $3 million proportions. So before I saw this Jim Bean ad today, courtesy of a friend’s facebook post, I didn’t have much faith left in the :60 spot.

First, let’s get past that there are few cooler people on the planet than Willem Dafoe.  Equal parts petrifying, classic, and stoic, he strikes a chilling presence in my bones that only Christopher Walken can replicate.  With haunting music whispered in the background, his voice reminds us that the choices we all make in life ultimately define who we are…that even the smallest ones have meaning and shouldn’t be dismissed.  Like dominos, our choices have made great things happen, and will make more great things happen.  Or vice versa.  Our choices have changed lives for the better, or have hurt people maliciously. We choose to lead, to follow, to curl up under the covers, or face the day that lies ahead. We choose to live in the town we grew up in, or leave home at 17. There are choices we have made that drag us to depths far beyond the core of the earth should physically allow…and others have sailed us far beyond our own expectations.  We make choices that put us first…at other times we sacrifice ourselves for love. We choose to ignore being taken for granted to maintain the relationship…or we walk out the door to a love we deserve.  We choose to only see faults, ignoring our own… or we can choose to revel in the perfect imperfection seen in the eyes of those who adore us.

Or, hypothetically, we choose to quit our jobs this summer, move to San Francisco, buy a Jeep wrangler, stick-shift, and rescue a dog from the Norcal Golden Retriever Rescue (more on this in future posts)…

It seems an obvious statement to say that “life boils down to a series of choices,” yet such a profound one. Breaking down our lives by the choices we have made shows our decisions a degree of reverence.  It allows us to see the patterns in our lives, our fortitude and our weaknesses.  And maybe it will make us pause each time we make a choice…to revel in the act that is free will and give it the respect it deserves. As Rachel Dawes said to Bruce Wayne: “Deep down you may still be that same great kid you used to be. But it’s not who you are underneath, it’s what you do that defines you.”  Because our actions do speak louder than our words, and everything and everyone in our lives are affected by the decisions we  make.  The ones we do make, and the ones we choose to walk away from …become us.


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