"[People kill themselves because of] society's inability to educate, in terms of love, any further than a given point. Nobody in this world seems to be able to love beyond a certain point; they all go up to a certain point then they become emotionally tired of it, or bored or hurt. They change, and their love doesn't transcend certain obstacles. For somebody who is very sensitive and idealistic, as we all start out to be, it becomes a dramatic experience. You can either make that bridge or not, and we are going to make this picture for people who are possibly lost, and try to point out the reasons for it.How can we live well? Isn't that the essence of the most fundamental driving force behind all of our choices? Of the philosophy which we adopt each day? And yet looking at the world, at the people around us, at ourselves-we seem to be abject failures at living well. So many nights we climb into our wrinkled sheets thinking how much we have left undone, how far we have ended our day from our greatest aspirations we had when we awoke that morning. How many of us reach middle age and look back and wonder what happened to all that we had planned to do with our lives? What is it which keeps us from living deeply?
My films are expressive of a culture that has had the possibility of attaining material fulfillment while at the same time finding itself unable to accomplish the simple business of conducting human lives. We have been sold a bill of goods as a substitute for life. What is needed is reassurance in human emotions; a re-evaluation of our emotional capacities."-John Cassavetes
The essence of love is vulnerability; having the guts to be vulnerable and not punishing others for their vulnerability. Those we love, we love because we feel that they know us better than another, we feel safe to take risks. Those who hurt us are those who have exploited our vulnerability, those who have made us pay in some way for our weaknesses. In the wake of being hurt, we most usually decide to learn our lesson, and alter-sometimes radically, sometimes subtly-our mode of living. What we want most is to not have to suffer, and so we learn our lessons from those who have exploited us, vowing to be stronger and smarter and wiser the next time. We will be on guard against giving our power away.
However, the fundamental difficulty with this fortress building is that it separates us from one another. We become calculated and look at others suspiciously as potential inflictors of hurt. We stop being vulnerable, and learn to despise vulnerability. We begin looking for ways to manipulate relationships so that we don't have to put our entire selves out there on the line. We kill off the mystery of others with paltitudes and generalisations, so that we don't have to be challenged by them. We keep tucked away inside ourselves as much as we can. And that is where love dies.
Let us then make a vow for today, to give up any care for feelings of powerlessness, and risk the depths of who we are with every person we meet today. Let us not view them in relation to how we can keep them at a safe distance-but rather how can we lay a part of ourselves bare before them. Let us look at evey person with whom we interact today as a mystery, who has come to this moment in time with his or her own story and experiences. Let us give up any care for suffering as something to be avoided at all costs, and embrace pain and hurt as part of the human condition. Let us see that these are changes which can make the world better, for us having lived better while we are here. Let us not be afraid to risk it all.
"Most people don't know what they want or feel. And for everyone, myself included, It's very difficult to say what you mean when what you mean is painful. The most difficult thing in the world is to reveal yourself, to express what you have to... As an artist, I feel that we must try many things - but above all, we must dare to fail. You must have the courage to be bad - to be willing to risk everything to really express it all."-John Cassavetes
John Cassavetes was an American actor and film maker. His films as director include Shadows, Faces, Woman Under the Influence, Opening Night, and Killing of a Chinese Bookie.