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PURPOSE: "Mind the gap - it's the distance between life as you dream it and life as it is."

Movie quote from: Notes on a Scandal (2006) - Sheba Hart (Cate Blanchett)

notesWe all need a purpose to our lives. We must pursue things unaccomplished to bring new meaning to our day. However, obsessive needs can be mistaken for meaningful purpose. When this happens, damaging long-term pain is often the result. By narrow-mindedly pursuing short-term emotional needs, we place at risk values that are more long-lasting. No film better portrays the importance of 'minding the right gaps' than the powerful movie, Notes on a Scandal.

The film begins with Sheba Hart (Cate Blanchett) taking on a teaching position at a local school. She hopes her new job will fill an emptiness she feels as the mother of two and the husband of one. Although her family is playful, expressive, and emotionally warm, it does not meet Sheba's unclarified needs from within.

At her new job, she meets Barbara Covett (Judi Dench), a woman whose goal in life is crystal clear - she seeks a devoted friend to fill her lonely days. Her life's intent is not a constructive dream. Rather it is an obsessive need formed within her lonely perspectives of the world.

Both women pursue short-term needs that result in the loss of things they value long-term. Although Sheba discusses with Barb her father's wise advice to 'mind the gap' in life, neither woman really understands that this is a gap constructed around dreams not emotions. In the end, both women lose jobs, friends, and the respect of their culture by mistaking their obsessions for meaningful purpose.

Each of us must have a 'gap' in our life, one that separates where we are and where we would like to be. Without that sense of purpose, why would we get out of bed? However, we are wise to learn from films like Notes on a Scandal. They remind us that not all life purposes are constructive, not all goals meet both short and long-term values. For this reason, we must responsibly manage what we do. We must truly be mindful with the gaps in our lives.

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