There’s a hole in my bucket

Car mechanic Carter Chambers (Morgan Freeman) is dying from cancer.
Billionaire Edward Cole (Jack Nicholson) is in remission.

Mere weeks before, fate had landed these two strangers in the same hospital room.
Both discovered that they wanted to complete a list of things to see and do…before they died.

So, together, they set off on the adventure of a lifetime.

Now Edward is standing by Carter’s hospital bed, desperate to see his dearest friend survive this next operation.

In this poignant moment, Carter gives an article to Edward, explaining the source of his friend’s pretentious, rare, hugely-expensive coffee – Kopi Luwak.
The article explains that Kopi Luwak is made from the excreta of the cat-like palm civet, after they’ve eaten coffee berries.

Edward has spent years strutting his delight in sipping cat’s poo!

In that hilarious scene, Carter reaches over and crosses off another item on his Bucket List…
“Laugh Until You Cry”.

Many will see the point of this film as the excitement, anticipation and fulfilment of our Bucket Lists:
Things we’d dreamt of, things we’d promised ourselves.
But never got around to doing… sometimes until it feels woefully too late.

But I see something quite different here.

After they’ve fulfilled the initial excitement of a few of their adventures…
Both men are faced with two questions:

  1. What kind of man have I become?

  2. What has happened to my relationships with the people most dear to me?

And both men find themselves painfully, heart-achingly lacking.

It’s easy to be enticed and consumed with achievement, accomplishment and making our mark in the world.
Meanwhile, relationships always hold the biggest emotional risk – as well as the greatest capacity for deep happiness.

In my ministry and my coaching, I’ve witnessed enough pain to last two lifetimes, when a person finally faces up to how misplaced their priorities have been.
Constantly rationalising their unbridled pursuit of success.

I’ve also observed and experienced unspeakable joy when we invest our finest energies in the nurturing of relationships and the building of other’s lives – at home and at work.

“Have I Brought Joy To Others?”

Surely, for those of us fortunate enough to have experienced decades of adult life…
This is the essential Bucket List Question.

David Scarlett