There’s advice, the everyday words that you hear from others, that more often than not goes in one ear and out the other. And then there’s Advice. Words that weave themselves into the very fabric of your soul. That you write down, come back to, that become a principle or belief that shapes your life. Sometimes (perhaps often) that Advice comes from the strangest of places.
There’s the usual sources of course, books, quotes from historical figures, friends, mentors, religious texts. All fine sources. Yet this piece of Advice came from none of them and is perhaps the most profound advice that I have ever heard. Advice that you can truly live your life by. Advice that I’ve written down often. That comes to mind immediately should anyone ask, “what’s the best advice you’ve ever received?”. Advice that seems so simple, yet is far from simplistic.
All good Advice should be like that, don’t you think? Simple to understand, yet rarely simple to live by. I bet if I asked you right now, “what is the best advice you’ve ever received?”, you’d smile as it effortlessly popped into your mind. Well mine came from a movie. Not too strange you say? OK, it came from a movie that’s described by Wikipedia as a “pastiche-jukebox musical”. No, not the Disney kind, although Frozen’s “let it go” is some pretty good Advice to live by. No, it came from a Baz Luhrmann movie. A movie he wrote, directed and produced. A movie I absolutely love for all of its flamboyance and spectacle. This is the movie that I’ve watched more than any other, that I’ve purchased and repurchased from DVD to Blu Ray to digital streaming. The movie I love to watch with the volume cranked high on a huge screen. As good now as it was when it was released in 2001 (admittedly it did get nominated for 8 Oscars).
For it was from this movie that one of my best pieces of Advice came, and it really is quite simple:
The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.
Thank you Moulin Rouge, thank you Baz Luhrmann and thank you Ewan McGregor who spoke these words in the movie.
Advice from a strange place indeed.