The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Opinion & Letters to the Editor

June 28, 2013

Have you updated your bucket list?

Friday, June 28, 2013 — This is the third time I’ve written about a personal “bucket list” and today I’m suggesting that we review our lists annually.

For those unfamiliar with the term, an excellent motion picture in 2007 featuring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman popularized the notion of a personal “bucket list” and made it a part of American culture.

A “bucket list” is a written inventory of things a person wants to do or see before he or she dies (“kicks the bucket”) or becomes too old or infirm.

Nicholson and Freeman portrayed two terminally ill cancer patients who decide to live their last days to the fullest.

Nicholson’s character was arrogant, self-indulgent, rich, twice divorced and estranged from his only child and grandchild.

Freeman’s character was a humble but intelligent mechanic who had worked hard and sacrificed all of his life to support and educate his family.

Each man compiled a list of places he wanted to visit and personal experiences he wanted to have before dying.

In a not-so-surprising twist of fate, Nicholson’s illness goes into remission and he gets an opportunity to redeem himself as a loving father and grandfather.

Freeman’s character dies but only after he becomes the key player in Nicholson’s redemption, helping him rediscover his humanity and his family.

I am convinced that many of us have been developing our own “bucket lists” of secret desires over the years.  

That may help explain the “fantasy” baseball and other sports camps where adults pay fancy prices to wear a replica big league uniform and trot onto a famous ballpark.

Now I better understand those who spend thousands of dollars to buy the car or clothes of a dead celebrity.

The joy of developing and working through a “bucket list” doesn’t have to hinge on a calamity in our personal lives.

We should be going to places and having experiences because we’ve earned the right by raising our families and working hard.

Those who’ve sacrificed for others — our family, our employer, etc. — deserve to enjoy our own lives and put ourselves first for a change.

I hope you’re working off your own “bucket list.”

Today, I have four items in mind for 2013 — a trip to Gettysburg National Military Park, an ocean cruise, a ride in a hot air balloon and a tree house for my grandchildren.

My first list included a trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We’ve now done it four times with our entire family.

Keith Kappes is a columnist for The Morehead (Ky.) News. Contact him at kkappes@cnhi.com.

1
Text Only
Opinion & Letters to the Editor
  • Brent Laurenz Special election adds to the mix

    RALEIGH – A busy slate of judicial elections this November got even busier recently when Judge John Martin of the N.C. Court of Appeals announced his retirement.
    A special statewide election to fill Martin’s seat will be added to the general election ballot, joining the four N.C. Supreme Court seats and three N.C. Court of Appeals races already slated for this fall.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Patrick Gannon Fake news or sign of some more trouble?

    RALEIGH – Of the three situations I can recall where agencies receiving large sums of taxpayer dollars wouldn’t divulge employees’ salaries, two of them ended badly. The third – involving a group of charter schools in Southeastern North Carolina – is playing out right now.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Almost half of America's obese youth don't know they're obese

    WASHINGTON - The good news is that after decades of furious growth, obesity rates finally seem to be leveling off in the U.S.. The bad news is that America's youth still appear to be dangerously unaware of the problem.

    July 23, 2014

  • Darth Vader is polling higher than all potential 2016 presidential candidates

    On the other hand, with a net favorability of -8, Jar Jar is considerably more popular than the U.S. Congress, which currently enjoys a net favorability rating of -65.

    July 23, 2014

  • D.G. Martin Where did all these new voters in North Carolina come from?

    “Voters born elsewhere make up nearly half of N.C. electorate.”
    So begins the latest DataNet report from the UNC Program on Public Life, directed by former journalist Ferrel Guillory.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Patrick Gannon Some light for Dems in their time of darkness

    RALEIGH – Earlier this year, state Sen. Ben Clark, a Hoke County Democrat, became a hero for a day among his party and environmentalists when his amendment to require more well water testing near future fracking sites passed the Senate. It even gained the support of a number of GOP senators, against the wishes of the Republican bill sponsor.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • mama.jpg What we get wrong about millennials living at home

    If the media is to be believed, America is facing a major crisis. "Kids," some age 25, 26, or even 30 years old, are living out of their childhood bedrooms and basements at alarmingly high numbers. The hand-wringing overlooks one problem: It's all overblown.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Doug Creamer Maintaining hope

    Gardeners are facing challenges with the weather this year. It seemed like we were getting great conditions in April and May. The weather was warm and we were getting some good rains. Then sometime in June the rain stopped. It got so dry that I didn’t have to cut the grass. While I enjoyed the break, the garden was not happy at all. I was having to water quite a bit to keep the vegetable garden alive and growing.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jason O. Boyd I may be a bit behind the times, but at least I can find ‘America’

    I seem to be reading about and dealing with technology a lot lately.
    I  love technology and have always been fascinated by gadgets of all kinds and the wonderful things they can do. You never seem to go through an entire day without some form of invention enhancing your life.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brent Laurenz Meeting out in open helps negotiations move ahead

    RALEIGH – State lawmakers reconvened in Raleigh on May 14 promising a brief legislative session this summer, but as July moves along they are still in town and tackling big issues.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Seasonal Content