“Firstly lead your life more meaningfully and with more purpose. That means not creating problems or harming other people. So according to that nature – help other people and if possible serve them so you can be a nice person in the community. If you carry your life by being too self centered, and take advantage of others then you become a lonely person and nobody will like you. Then when your last day comes, if you remain a good human being then everybody will be very sad and you will be a great loss. But if you lead your life too negatively, harming others and cheating others then when your last day comes everybody will say ‘good news, very good, wonderful!’ So you must lead your life meaningfully then at the end of your life you will be happy.”…Dalai Lama
i am fortunate enough to be on a short list of invitees when tickets to festivals and concerts come available. there are some duds, but there are also some amazing gifts of experience that charm and enlighten. last weekend became a bonanza at the denver international film festival. as i viewed “once upon a crime- the borrelli-davis conspiracy” my heart thawed and i was introduced to a view of “the next level” of living and forgiving could really look like.
mike borrelli and bob davis were new yorkers whose lives intersected with denver politics in the mid 1970’s they were convicted of murder and conspiracy not because the evidence provided no alternate perspective, but because the investigating agency needed a conviction to keep their budget alive. even beyond this atrocity, bob davis, a black man and former police officer, was further denigrated by being ignored the the colorado justice system and denied the retrial on the lesser trial of conspiracy that his white counterpart was given (and exonerated) for murder.
i won’t go into the documentary’s specifics here- although it is finely woven together with care and respect for it’s subject. nor shall i highlight the style and depth that the 7 years of research and interviews introduced. needless to say this film is worth your time. the real time arc of the story-line in my mind is the other-worldly ability of bob davis to forgive his transgressors. i cannot remember a time in my recent history when one individual’s quiet demonstration of spiritual principles have left a mark so deep.
i met the men whose lives were woven so intricately into the wormhole of destiny retold in the film. they did not seem larger than life or extraordinary at all. quite the contrary, they are glaringly simple. thank you bob davis (and mike borrelli)- for providing the beautiful reminder that living a life with forgiveness is the gift that a spiritual life provides. it may not look glamorous, but it’s glow sustains.