You design your life. We all design our lives.
So says Rilene, one of the figures in the documentary that I hope you are about to watch. Rilene's insight is profound: the choices that we make change us–-they don't merely change the world around us, they change us. Her insight is as humble and courageous as it is profound because while it acknowledges freedom—a gift we all treasure—it also acknowledges responsibility.
We can't design our lives in every respect. For instance, most of us will not make careers as professional musicians or athletes, no matter how appealing we might find such prospects and no matter how strong our desires. Talent, timing, relationships--all these things limit our power. Some things lie beyond our control, and it takes humility and courage to accept this fact.
It also takes humility and courage to face certain questions about our lives. Two such questions are, "How do I know if I am designing my life well? By what standard can I come to a conclusion?" These questions are closely linked with others: "What is the purpose of my life? What does it mean to be fulfilled and at peace?" And these are the central questions around which the film Desire of the Everlasting Hills turns. The film does not claim to answer these questions completely. They have been mulled over, talked over, even fought over, for as long as humanity has found its home in this world. Anyone who has ever thought about whether he or she has "done the right thing" has started to think about these questions.