Sandy beaches, blue water, palm trees; that is the paradise. Life must be better when you live in Hawaii, the Caribbean or on the islands of Australia. You don’t need to worry about the cold weather; you can take a swim in the ocean every day.
Even if we would like to have a better place were no problems or routine would meet us, unfortunately there is no such place. This realization hits hard when disease creeps into the beautiful and peaceful life of Matt King in Hawaii. The movie “The Descendants” features his life in which he is shortly before the biggest decision of his life which is worth several million dollars. Unfortunately Matt has to deal with his two daughters and his oldest daughter’s friend and his comatose wife, Elizabeth. Apart from his not existing relationship with his children, how is a father who is barely at home know what his kids are doing and what they like, his marriage with Elizabeth was on the decline for several month before her accident with a power boat. As he has no other choice than to bond with his girls, Matt learns more about his dying than he ever wanted, but her secret will be the glue to keep his dying family together.
Not is the Descendants a movie worth watching for the sole fun of it (got the Award for best adapted screenplay – just for the ones wo have no idea what it means: there was a book first which was transformed into a movie) but Matt King has also ethical questions to solve: profit vs family, love vs. pride, nature vs. money.
How should a business man behave when his life is challenged not only by a desease but also by the realization that his life wasn’t as he has supposed it to be. In sight of those heavy decisions to make, should he postpone his business life to a latter date hoping, things will be easier, or is it business as usual. As Shailene Woodley phrased it the Descendants shows life in its reality without overexaggerating or underexaggerating it.
But not only Matt has to face reality in paradise. Do you know what happened to Ben Southall? Ben was the winner of the ‘Best Job in the World’ contest. He was caretaker of Hamilton Island, no it has nothing to do with the Formula One driver, and shortly before his service was over he got stung by a jellyfish. Fortunately he got his injections to stop the venom from spreading and killing him. The Telegraph reported that in 2002 two tourists died after a sting from the deadly Irukandji jellyfish.
Life isn’t just Mai-Tais and surf boards, not even when you life in the paradise. Just enjoy what you have and focus on the positives. Take Randy Pausch as an example.