Though it dealt in death, Six Feet Under‘s other preoccupation involved not just life, but the choppy journey through it, and no character went on a greater journey of self-discovery than Nate Fisher, a free-living rebel who resisted the pull of his familial responsibilities until his father’s death in the pilot. By the series’ end, Nate had become a full-fledged adult — albeit one with tremendous flaws — but the journey was long and one that we all take in our own way. So for those of you still trying to figure things out, draw inspiration from these Nate Fisher lines from Six Feet Under (which you can stream on HBO Now).
“Why do people die?” — Tracy Montrose Blair
“To make life important. None of us know how long we’ve got. Which is why we have to make each day matter.” — Nate Fisher
In the middle of your daily hustle and grind it’s pretty easy to lose sight of the fact that none of us are guaranteed another day. That’s why you’ve got to step away from yourself from time to time and stop stressing about little things that find a way to loom large in your life. Focus on the big picture and the better things whenever you can slip away from the grind.
“Look, I have to go identify our dead father’s body. I’m sorry you’re having a bad drug experience but deal with it.”
You can ignore a lot of things that are exploding around you but sometimes there are absolutes that require you to straighten your spine and dig in. Nate’s living in one of those moments when his father dies and as Claire’s older brother, he’s compelled to let her in on that life lesson, even if it’s probably an inadvertent bit of wisdom uttered in a moment of high stress.
“You only get one life. There’s no God, no rules, except for those you accept or create for yourself. Then once it’s over… it’s over. Dreamless sleep forever and ever. So why not be happy while you’re here?”
A little bit of nihilism, when used effectively, can be a powerful tool. You don’t want to go too far or you’ll wind up staring into the abyss forever. If you accept there is nothing but you and your will to guide you through life before you disappear from reality forever you’re a lot more motivated to figure out whatever it is that will make you happy.
“Well, you know, love isn’t something you feel, it’s something you do. If the person you’re with doesn’t want it, you know, do yourself a favor and save it for someone who does.”
Even at their best, love and relationships aren’t easy. If you’re with someone who’s making it even tougher than it has to be than maybe this isn’t a path you want to be on, at least not with them, at least not forever. Work on you and wait for a partner to come along, not a project.
“Everything’s bad for something.”
This is the bumper, T-shirt slogan we should all memorize and internalize. It highlights our effects on the world and the unforeseen consequences our actions often can manifest. It also serves to highlight that sometimes the obstacles and barriers we come up against are stepping stones for other people. Sometimes it’s about awareness and sometimes it’s about point of view.
“You can’t take a picture of this. It’s already gone.”