Sunday, 5 October 2014

Que Sera, Sera, The future's not ours, to see?


When I was just a little boy
I asked my mother, what will I be
Will I be handsome, will I be rich
Here's what she said to me.

Que Sera, Sera,
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours, to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be.

When I was just a child in school
I asked my teacher, "What should I try?
Should I paint pictures? Should I sing songs?"
This was her wise reply. 

Que Sera, Sera,
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours, to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be.

When I was young, I fell in love
I asked my sweetheart what lies ahead
Will we have rainbows, day after day
Here's what my sweetheart said.

Que Sera, Sera,
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours, to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be.

Now I have children of my own
They ask their mother, what will I be
Will I be handsome, will I be rich
She tells them tenderly.

Que Sera, Sera,
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours, to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be.


Que Sera Sera is an enchanting song that I first heard at the end of Japanese anime comedy “My Neighbors the Yamadas”. The Yamadas is a wonderful movie in its own right which reminds us that families all over the world have a lot in common. The original version of this song was produced in 1956 for Alfred Hitchcock's suspense thriller "The Man Who Knew Too Much" starring Doris Day. It won the 1956 Best Song Oscar. Despite its beauty, the song is about the acceptance that future events are beyond our control and we can’t do much about that.

But I believe that even with all its complexities, the future is not an unknown or fixed state. Its structure is in flux all the time and we are constantly creating and modifying it with our little actions, deeds, thoughts, choices and beliefs. The possibilities are endless and the only restriction is our imagination. 

So what should be the opposite of “Que Sera Sera” or what will be, will be theme? Perhaps “Carpe Diem” (seize the day) philosophy. As Robin Williams playing maverick English teacher John Keating says in the film Dead Poets Society:

“carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary."

He goes on saying "No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world."

(Song written by the Jay Livingston and Ray Evans)

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