Keep Calm and Do Something

We are told to keep calm and do practically everything.   

Keep calm and study. 
Keep calm and eat a cookie.  
Keep calm and stay positive.  

Whatever your catch phrase is, there is a 'keep calm' message for it. 

But let's use the most active 'keep calm' message, which everyone should hear. 

Keep calm and do something.  

That is quite simple. Do something. Because I simply believe in doing something. Let me explain.  

In Grey's Anatomy, a few years ago, George stepped in front of a bus to save a girl's life. This girl then stood staring into thin air for weeks on end. The girl was in shock over what this person had done to help her. She did not feel worthy for someone else's sacrifice.  

The amazing Izzie, played by Katherine Keigl, summarised precisely what everyone should do in a redeeming situation. Izzie was unwell, and battling to live. She was also fighting to stay involved in the commercial and social realms of her life. Meanwhile, this saved girl the was doing nothing with this valuable time she had. George sacrificed his life, so she could do what? 

I'm going to copy and paste the quotes from IMDB, to give you a full picture of powerful words: 

Dr. Izzie Stevens: Get up. I mean it, get up. Get up.
[the girl stand up]
Dr. Izzie Stevens: Now go get a life.
Amanda: I can't.
Dr. Izzie Stevens: George was a surgeon. He had a purpose. He wanted to save lives. And now he doesn't get the chance. Now he doesn't get the chance to do anything. Now he doesn't get the chance to do anything anymore, but you do. You could go to medical school, you know? You could hang out with your freakin' friends. I don't care what you do. Just go do something with your life, because you have one. You lived. You live and George didn't. And I know. I... I know... that feels horrible and shocking... and terrifying. But you lived. So go live your freakin' life.
Amanda: I don't know how.
Dr. Izzie Stevens: Nobody does. Nobody knows how. But God, have enough respect for George to figure it out. 'Cause if I see you sitting on this bench ever again, I will kick your ass from here to sunday. 

Shonda Rhimes summed it up so well. But first, there is my own context to this. I have spent all of 2014, looking for the most meaningful way to spend my time. Surely my minutes needed to be the most productive, and help the most people. This superhero ideal is impossible to live up to. Maybe that was the wrong way to go about doing something meaningful. Then again, lots of people sit at the TV or knit. I am not interested in TV or knitting. What were my options? I have done everything in the past few months. I worked, studied, donated, partied, wrote, designed, spoke... You name it, I gave it a go. What am I looking for? Who knows?   

Shonda Rhimes, the creator of Grey's Anatomy, understood this universal question addressed in the episode. Amanda didn't know how to live her life. Most of us don't know how to live ours. A sort of limbo occurs. But do anything besides that limbo. Apparently, I'm not the only one who doesn't know how to live life. These Grey's characters don't know how to find direction either. Izzie's advice is to go and figure it out, since that is an opportunity which others do not have.  

People often ask me why I do so much. I am always doing something. There is no off button. I push myself until my head explodes from exhaustion. Why put myself through that? The thought of sitting on a couch, in front of the TV, just does not appeal. The thought of knitting just doesn't feel life enough. I enjoy getting out into the world. I used to just sit at my piano for hours on end. But it felt like something was missing. I now enjoy being social out in the city. This lifestyle is not for everyone. And that is ok.  

Izzie said to go and do something. She didn't say to do the greatest thing ever. Go to graduate school. Hang out with friends. I feel I am doing both of those. Many people choose one or the other. But it is worth doing something. Every minute is a gift we should not take for granted.  

Keep calm and do something. 


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