I just watched “Iconoclasts” today.  The feature on Robert Redford and Paul Newman was replayed.  There was a shot wherein Newman showed Redford a statement that hangs by the fireplace at Newman’s home.  The sign says, “Some people bring happiness in two ways–either by coming  in or leaving the room.”

The statement made me think of one of my main philosophies in life–that a life lived once should be lived right. Life may not come out all rosy in the beginning but eventually at least you learn to make it right in the end and not when it is too late.  And that to “make it right” greatly depends on what your values are and what you think is your sense of purpose on this earth.

I suppose Newman had this sign put up to help him reflect on what purpose he had on this earth.  And as exemplified by his works of charity and causes, bringing happiness for him does not have to mean being the life of the party, cracking jokes or making women swoon over his good looks.  It is to be of use to people who are in need of support and concern. He was also a man of not just words but of selfless dedication and action.  He made things possible.

Well, Newman has now left the room.  And the sadness that came with his passing has left a void that will be difficult to fill.  May we all learn from his generosity and commitment to work, family, and his causes.  He’ll be greatly missed. He was one heck of a cool guy.

Paul Newman