“Here’s Looking At You Kid”
A famous line from the 1942 American romantic film ‘Casablanca.’ It was said between the two main characters Rick and IIsa multiple times throughout the film.
Many interpretations have been written about line. It became famous because it was unscripted, originally improvised by Bogart, and kept because it fitted so well.
If you watch the clip where Rick says it to IIsa at the airport before she gets on the plane, it captures their love and inevitability of parting. I find it interesting that so few words can have multiple meanings.
It’s an example of how language can mean many things to many people. We often know what we want to say, but don’t actually say it for fear of rejection. We also often don’t know what we want to say, and end up skirting around he edges. We are left feeling misunderstood and frustrated.
Language is a beautiful thing. Since being in recovery, I have been aware of the language I use towards myself and others. I’ve learnt to express what I really mean and not try to sugarcoat it to appease myself and others. At the same time I’ve learnt that the delivery, timing and environment that language is used in, can have a big impact on how it is received.
I’m a sucker for a black and white movie, so when I was deciding my next reflection, “Here’s Looking At You” popped up in my psyche because it’s understanding is fluid. It’s universally recognised, but what does it mean to you?
Next time you feel yourself struggling to find the right words, remember a few things:
… What do you really want your audience or recipient to hear?
… What words or language can best articulate what you want them to hear?
… Are you honouring your true beliefs?
… Are you ‘pussyfooting’ around the edges or are you being direct in your message?
… How can you best deliver your message?
… Are you willing to let go of your expectations?
Most of all though, appreciate and value the beauty in words. They are free to us all, but be wise…don’t use your words to negate others. Use them to encourage, motivate, inspire and love one another.