What’s in Your Backpack?

I’m sure a lot of you have seen the film – “Up In The Air” starring George Clooney. I was so breath taken from this film I felt the compelling desire to re-post the backpack scene. It’s so relative to the way a lot of people live, and whether we want to admit it or not….We all need to hear this:::

The movie Up in the Air, starring George Clooney, is the story of Ryan Bingham, an employee terminator for downsizing companies, who also has a side career as a motivational speaker.

Bingham interweaves challenges to his audience with advice to the people he fires.  In his motivational talks, he sets up an empty backpack as a focus point.

He associates the backpack with the burdens we carry through our lives and challenges his listeners to consider what is in their backpacks, and how as we travel through life we become bogged down by our ‘stuff’ and by our commitments to people.

Bingham preaches to his audience, How much does your life weigh? Imagine for a second that you’re carrying a backpack. I want you to pack it with all the stuff that you have in your life… you start with the little things. The shelves, the drawers, the knickknacks; then you start adding larger stuff; clothes, tabletop appliances, lamps, your TV… the backpack should be getting pretty heavy now. You go bigger. Your couch, your car, your home… I want you to stuff it all into that backpack.

Now I want you to fill it with people. Start with casual acquaintances, friends of friends, folks around the office… and then you move into the people you trust with your most intimate secrets; your brothers, your sisters, your children, your parents and finally your husband, your wife, your boyfriend, your girlfriend. You get them into that backpack. Feel the weight of that bag.

Make no mistake your relationships are the heaviest components in your life; all those negotiations and arguments and secrets; the compromises.

As we watch this scene, we start to think about what we are carrying around, our burdens and our connections to different parts of our life.  A friend of mine described each burden as a golden thread, securing us more firmly in the cage of our life.

Bingham points out that it is with our backpacks that we journey through life.  For most of us, our backpacks are pretty heavy.  Can we enjoy our journey with all that weight on our backs?

What’s in your backpack?