“Like everyone else I am what I am: an individual,
unique and different,
with a lineal history of ancestral promptings
and urgings; a history of dreams,
desires, and of special experiences,
all of which I am the sum total.”
Entertainer Charlie Chaplin was probably the most well-known actor of the early 20th century. After adopting his trademark Little Tramp costume, consisting of baggy pants, bamboo cane, bowler hat, and over-sized shoes, Chaplin became a Hollywood icon. He was the most popular draw in the early days of silent film and, even to this day, when a list of early movie comedians is given, Chaplin is often the first name mentioned.
We know much about his life: he lived a complex life. But most of us don’t know he was a left-wing anti-capitalist European who could never become American citizen because of his political ideas. He frequently found himself at odds with American political and social mores of the time, which ultimately led to his self-imposed exile to Switzerland, where he died in 1977.
Charles Spencer Chaplin was born---just four days before Adolf Hitler---on April 16, 1889 in London. He disgusted dictatorship. On the other hand, Adolf Hitler loathed Charlie Chaplin but Hitler was conscious of Chaplin’s popularity because of which he grew the moustache like Chaplin to make himself more appealing to the people.
In the late 1940′s and early 1950′s, the public did not accept Chaplin’s political perspective on right-wing dictatorship. His personal life was rough at the time and critics considered his art to be bitter. During this time, a paternity suit was brought against Chaplin. He did prove that he was not the father, but his reputation to the public and suspicion to be communist paved the way for being declared as guilty as charged. In 1952, the United States Attorney General told Chaplin that his re-entry to the United States would be challenged on charges of turpitude and political unreliability. Chaplin never became a United States citizen, so he sold all his American possessions and decided to leave the USA. Due to suspicions of him being a communist, his imprints were removed from the Hollywood walk of fame and have been lost subsequently. In 1953, Charlie Chaplin refused to have the American citizenship and preferred to go into self-imposed exile in Switzerland. He died during sleep there in Vaud on December 25, 1977 at the age of 88. At his 70th birthday he wrote:
“As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering
are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth.
Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY”.
As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody
As I try to force my desires on this person,
even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it,
and even though this person was me.
Today I call it “RESPECT”.
As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life,
and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow.
Today I call it “Maturity”.
As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance,
I am in the right place at the right time,
and everything happens at the exactly right moment.
So I could be calm.
Today I call it “SELF-CONFIDENCE”.
As I began to love myself I quit steeling my own time,
and I stopped designing huge projects for the future.
Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do
and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm.
Today I call it “SIMPLICITY”.
As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health -
food, people, things, situations, and everything the drew me down and away from myself.
At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism.
Today I know it is “LOVE OF ONESELF”.
As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right,
and ever since I was wrong less of the time.
Today I discovered that is “MODESTY”.
As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worry about the future.
Now, I only live for the moment, where EVERYTHING is happening.
Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it “FULFILLMENT”.
As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me
and it can make me sick.
But As I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally.
Today I call this connection “WISDOM OF THE HEART”.
We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems
with ourselves or others.
Even stars collide, and out of their crashing new worlds are born.
Today I know THAT IS “LIFE”!
Lusin Mkrtchyan is an Armenian Journalist, she blogs at http://notteluchi.wordpress.com