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The Bucket List Concept

Updated on March 20, 2018
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As a lifelong reader and writer, Liz writes articles and poetry. She also enjoys watching and reviewing movies.

The Bucket List

Have you seen the movie, The Bucket List, starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson? With screenplay written by Justin Zackham and directed by Rob Reiner, it follows the end-of-life adventures of a pair of mis-matched men who become unlikely friends.

Released in 2007 by Warner Brothers, it has been around long enough for most people to have seen the film either in the theater or via some other medium. In fact, it's been around long enough for the term "bucket list" to have become part of the general popular concepts, appearing often in both spoken and written communications.

There are not many folks these days who do not know what you mean in referring to your bucket list. Those who look at you with a blank stare have either been hiding under a rock, or are living in a country without much access to Hollywood's offerings.

The Bucket List Movie Trailer

What Is a Bucket List?

As explained in the movie, it's a list of things we wish to do, see or accomplish before we "kick the bucket." While the term 'bucket list' may or may not pre-date the movie, the idea has certainly been around as long as modern society has had access to leisure time.

Ever since we crawled out of our caves and began to form into societal groups, humans have wondered about the world beyond their immediate existence. With the advent of the industrial age, the idea of time off from working, hunting for food and maintaining the home became accessible to sectors of society other than the wealthy ruling classes.

How Do You Decide?

A bucket list is a very personal thing. As seen in the movie, it may be something you don't want to share with others. The content is as individual as you are; one person's grand aspirations are another's concept of stupidity.

It does not matter, for such is life and society itself. If this were not the case, there would never be any personal disagreements or wars.

Here are some possible items that might appear on a bucket list. These are things I've tossed together off the top of my head. A couple of them appear on my own list; most do not.

When we have shuffled off this mortal coil..."

— Shakespeare; from Hamlet

Some Possible Ideas People Might Have

  • Become a hermit and live off the land
  • Travel the world in first-class style
  • Go on 'walkabout' in Australia
  • Join a protest march
  • Star in a movie
  • See Niagara Falls

  • Climb Half Dome in Yosemite National Park
  • Go skydiving
  • Go whitewater rafting
  • Swim the English Channel
  • Write the next great novel
  • Go bungee jumping
  • Visit Irish Castles

How Long Should the List Be?

From the above suggestions, I'm sure you get the idea: -the list is as long or as short as you like, and the things don't necessarily have to be reasonable.

It's an exercise of the imagination; a projection of forgotten childhood fantasies; a sophistcated person's studiously selected choices. It is many things.

Is Such A List Realistic?

It can be, depending upon your chosen items. However, it is likely that most of us will never finish doing the things on our bucket lists, and some of us won't be able to do any of them. It will remain an exercise in wishful thinking.

Why is this? Because with the possible exception of the 'become a hermit' option, each and every one of those things requires money; some of the things require a lot of money. In the current economy, with people losing jobs and even their homes, travel and great, thrilling adventures are once again retreating into the realm of the weatlhy and ruling classes.

For myself, it is utterly unrealistic. I expect to accomplish the things on my bucket list after I've "..shuffled off this mortal coil..." and am free to travel as pure spirit energy, unencumbered by the need for money or any form of mechanical transportation.

Unrealistic or not, it is fun, and good for the imagination. If nothing else, it can lead us to fascinating books, movies and articles on our chosen destinations or activities, allowing us to enjoy them from the safety of our living rooms without risk of breaking our elderly bones.

Feel free to share your list, or an item or two, in the comments if you wish. "Extra points" if you guess which of the suggested items are actually mine. ;-)

© 2012 Liz Elias


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