Lessons from James Gandolfini

“When you’re married, you learn the importance of fresh produce!” — Tony Soprano

Last week, the world was stunned when celebrated actor James Gandolfini died suddenly at age 51 from a massive heart attack. Among other projects, the actor was most remembered for his turn in Tony Soprano in “The Sopranos” and afterwards he directed several documentaries on the aftermath of the Iraq war to critical acclaim. Many celebrities and costars were shocked by his death. While tragic, it does teach us a few lessons about how we live our lives. It can be easy to take things for granted and miss out on the opportunity to appreciate even the little things in our day-to-day lives — even something as basic as fresh produce. Use this article and the discussion questions to look at ways young adults can avoid taking the gift of life for granted:

  • What did you think of Gandolfini’s death? Did it affect you in any significant way? Why or why not?
  • How can we fully appreciate the miracle of life — our own included — on a daily basis?
  • How can your faith and spiritual practices help you slow down and really appreciate all the life that is happening around you? What practice might you add to your daily routine to help you appreciate life?