“The Old Man and the Gun” – movie recommendation and review

This is a story of the “gentleman bank robber”,  Forrest Tucker who did his holdups in the early 1980’s.  Robert Redford plays Tucker.

In this story, Forrest Tucker leads a life well-lived.  He was charming and charismatic.  Many of his victims who were interviewed reported that they really liked him.  It seems no one held his profession against him or judged him for it, personally.  If anything, some expressed envy at Tucker’s contentment and love of his work.

I mention this movie precisely because of this.  I like him too.  I was moved at his profound satisfaction with his work and his kind, charming demeanor.

One could say that any bank robber is a flawed human being.  There is, perhaps, a dark side within him.  One could say that he kept it up, against all odds for a good outcome, out of some sort of addiction.  Perhaps the thrill.

The character himself expressed his motive as “just living”.    No separation between himself and what he is doing, the life he is living.  He expressed deep gratitude for the joy and pleasure that he experienced “just living”.

Taking a leap, I would take away two things from this story.

  1.  Forrest Tucker’s example is a prescription for living.  Of course, many things could go wrong.  He was on the wrong side of the law and what most of us consider to be proper behavior.  In this story, he leads a charmed life.  Robbing, getting caught, going to prison, escaping and doing it again.  Nothing really bad seemed to happen to him or his victims.  What he experienced seemed to be simple joy.
  2. I would go further out on a limb to suggest that the story was also autobiographical (of Robert Redford), who is expressing his gratitude for his life well-lived, motivated by doing what he was best at and what he loved the most.  If so, this takes the statement “I can’t believe they pay me to do this” to a new level.  If true, maybe he is suggesting that he got away as a thief would, with something for nothing.



Today:”Do what you can with what you are good at.  Leave the rest to competent allies. ” – From the I Ching

The signs are there for ultimate success.  Do what you can with what you are good at.  Leave the rest to allies who are competent.  Then, let the situation evolve to completion.

See Oct 31

Read the text from Richard Wilhelm's and subsequent translations of the I Ching

#19, line 5, #5

The hexagram as a whole points to a time of joyous, hopeful progress. Spring is approaching. Joy and forbearance bring high and low nearer together. Success is certain. But we must work with determination and perseverance to make full use of the propitiousness of the time.
A prince, or anyone in a leading position, must have the wisdom to attract to himself people of ability who are expert in directing affairs. His wisdom consists both in selecting the right people and in allowing those chosen to have a free hand without interference from him. For only through such self-restraint will he find the experts needed to satisfy all of his requirements.
WAITING is not mere empty hoping. It has the inner certainty of reaching the goal. Such certainty alone gives that light which leads to success. This leads to the perseverance that brings good fortune and bestows power to cross the great water. One is faced with a danger that has to be overcome. Weakness and impatience can do nothing. Only a strong man can stand up to his fate, for his inner security enables him to endure to the end. This strength shows itself in uncompromising truthfulness [with himself]. It is only when we have the courage to face things exactly as they are, without any sort of self- deception or illusion, that a light will develop out of events, by which the path to success may be recognized. This recognition must be followed by resolute and persevering action. For only the man who goes to meet his fate resolutely is equipped to deal with it adequately. Then he will be able to cross the great water – that is to say, he will be capable of making the necessary decision and of surmounting the danger.

Yogi Bhajan’s Seven Steps to Happiness
Meditation: The Positive Mind
Personal I Ching readings
Tao Te Ching – Verse 17
Previous readings
Today: I Ching


Today: “Some people waste their entire life showing off that they are somebody.” – Yogi Bhajan

“Some people waste their entire life showing off that they are somebody. Some people waste their entire life rebelling. Some people are egomaniac neurotics; they will build themselves into a millionaire, and then destroy it. What a drama! What is this? Have you seen some people? With all that God has given to them, they are very ungrateful. They will plead poor, they will plead miserable.” Yogi Bhajan

Yogi Bhajan’s Seven Steps to Happiness

See my movie review of “The Old Man And the Gun”