Life Lessons Learned From Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks gave some real-life advice that reminds sometimes we need to pause and listen, not stir up something out of nothing. In an interview given at the 2019 Rancho Mirage Writer’s Festival, Hank’s offered laughter, dignity, and pointed authentic conversation, the kind many crave from stars watched on the big screen. Questions by New York Times op-ed columnist, Maureen Dowd, quickly zoned in on the banter of politics and equality, shifting the conversation from his book, ‘Uncommon Type: Some Stories.’ Amidst an attempt for political rise or debate, Hanks remained poised and inspired with answers that we’ve all been waiting for. 

I don’t have a search engine on my phone anymore. 

In our crazy connected world, where someone can be in Kathmandu and join a video conference call 13 hours earlier on the previous day, our smartphones have us linked to everything and more- all the banter on social media, the news, work, friends, and family. There is something to be said to the days of flip phones when texting with emoji’s and gifs were not an option. Could we all learn from taking a month off of Google and social media on our phones?

I yearn for the great half hour of news. 

Breaking news is often not breaking. There are so much speculation and banter and comparison to past events that are not exactly relevant, is the media shaping conversation just to have it? Where is the feel-good home town news that provides hope instead of instilling fear? 

Aren’t we all tired of the political conversation?

Mr. Hanks, I respect you for speaking truth to how so many of us feel. At some point can we have a healthy conversation without accusations and putting down others. Do we need to agree to disagree and find ways to work together to remember we are the greatest nation with so much opportunity? When the Olympics come around every two years, we celebrate and unite and remember what it is like to be Americans. Can we find a way to do that 365 days a year, every year? Marcus Aurelius said it best, “Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is perspective, not the truth.”

Aren’t we all looking for authenticity that bleeds through the camera somewhere?

People want connection. With so much screen time in our lives, the questions begs precisely that, aren’t we all looking for what is real?

Life is just goofy, and the best people can let you down. 

This could not have been said better. People we love, look up to, or care about will let us down. This is life. This is reality. It is our choice what happens after a letdown, but the best of the best can let you down. 

Life is not a movie. 

Last but not least. Life happens. There are ups and downs and unexpected things. Those things we see on the big screen are exactly that, a story portrayed, not a real life thing. 

Thank you, Mr. Hanks, for the reminder that we are all here trying to do our best and find connections that speak to our hearts. 

Is it time to come together in seek of solutions and awareness versus playing the blame game?.