Sunday Snippet: Lanford Wilson (1937-2011)

“Whatever you do in you career, make it matter. Make it count.”

During Jeff Daniels’ acceptance speech at the Emmy Awards last Sunday (where he surprisingly beat Bryan Cranston for Best Actor in a Drama), he honored “the great American playwright Lanford Wilson” with the quote above, going on to say that Aaron Sorkin makes it matter and makes it count. It’s amazing just how far “the guy from Dumb and Dumber” has gone in his career.

Lanford Wilson was indeed a “great American playwright” and he was heavily involved in what came to be known as the “Off-Off-Broadway” theater movement in the early 1960s. He is best known for penning such plays as Balm in Gilead, Fifth of July and Burn This, among several others, plus dozens of shorter plays. Jeff Daniels has a personal connection with Wilson, having worked with the playwright through the Circle Repertory Theatre in New York, shown above. Daniels appeared in some of Wilson’s plays, like Redwood Curtain in 1993.

Life is short and only have a limited amount of time to make an impact on this world. While I perfectly understand that earning a living wage is absolutely necessary for staying alive, we must also be careful about how we spend these precious hours. If you can at all help it, you don’t want to waste those hours away with meaningless work. You want your work to matter. You want it to count. You want to plant the tree that provides the next generation with shade. You want to throw as much paint as possible onto life’s great big canvas.

While I am certainly no playwright, I like to think that I have something in common with Mr. Lanford Wilson. He endeavored to live on through his words and so do I. This is my legacy. This is how I want to make it count.

Here’s a hearty congratulations to Jeff Daniels for his portrayal of Will McAvoy in The Newsroom, arguably one of the best shows on TV today.