Live a Life of More
I recently watched Schindler’s List since I first saw it in college. The end of the movie explains what it means to live an incredible life better than any other movie I have ever watched.
I love the story. At the time it was secret. It isn’t anymore, but it was just as incredible before the story was turned into an Academy Award winner picture.
The movie chronicles the life of Oskar Schindler during World War II. At the height of the war, during Nazi Germany’s dominance of Europe, Schindler saw an opportunity. He would use the war to make himself rich.
He utilized the two basics of economics to succeed, supply and demand. The Nazi army needed supplies and he aimed to provide them. He met the demand through forced labor from Jews.
And rich he did become. Rich in finances, but rich ins something else that he didn’t anticipate. He would become rich in love.
What Schindler didn’t predict was the affection that would grow in his heart for his workers. He came to understand that working in his factory was about something bigger than making pots or pans or munitions for the army. For the workers it was an issue of life or death.
The arithmetic became even simpler than supply and demand. If you worked for Schindler, your life would be preserved. If you didn’t, then you would be die. It was that simple.
Once the Nazi army began to lose ground, Schindler had to move his industry out of Poland and into Czechoslovakia. He made a list of names. Jews that he wanted to take with him to work in a factory there.
Initially the Nazi’s were resistant. Why this list? Any person can work in a factory, why these names?
But the list wasn’t about workers. It wasn’t about munitions. It wasn’t about making money.
It was about lives. It was about people.
And because of love, Schindler did whatever it took to get these 1,100 men, women, and children to his factory so he could protect them. So he spent his entire wealth to save them. Every single penny.
In the end, when the war is over, and the Jews have been freed by the Allied forces, Schindler gives his farewell speech to the factory workers. This speech has weighed heavy on my head and heart since I heard it.
The speech wasn’t for them. He wasn’t telling them to go out and do amazing things. He didn’t feel the need to ask them to do make something of themselves and to enjoy their freedom.
After years of war and death, every person understood the preciousness of the gift of life.
Instead it was a lament.
Schindler didn’t look at the 1,100 whose lives he had saved and was filled with pride and joy. Instead he wished he has done more. He wishes that he had more money so that he could have saved more lives.
He wished that the list had been longer.
Of course, what Schindler did was incredible. His list was longer than anybody else’s. The point isn’t whether or not his list was long enough, but about whether or not we learn from his desire for more.
Each of us will arrive at this place at some point in our lives. The place when all is done. There is no more going forward. The chance to change anything is gone.
When you find yourself at the end of the war, what will you wish for?
Are you doing all that you can to use your life for something bigger and better? Or will you be filled with regret?
I hope that you choose more.
How will you make your list longer?
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