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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

To Be & To Do

Updated: Jun 19


  1. FADE IN


  2. Act 1


  3. INT. LIVING ROOM - 08:45


  4. Sitting in a sofa, PETER scrolls the Facebook Feed on his mobile.


  5. PETER (V.O):"To be is to do" or "To do is to be"...


  6. Peter researches with his mobile.


  7. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): "To be is to do" is associated with Jean-Paul Satre. The statement reflects the view that existence precedes essence or nature.


  8. Reading.


  9. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): We create our own meaning and essence through the choices we make and the actions we take in life.


  10. Reading.


  11. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): "To do is to be" is linked to Socrates, who is quoted as saying "The unexamined life is not worth living".


  12. Reading.


  13. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): Self-actualization comes through the pursuit of knowledge, virtue and active engagement.


  14. Act 2


  15. FLASHBACK


  16. INT. STUDY, PETER'S FAMILY HOME - DAY (1976)


  17. Peter (22) sits at a small desk, thick books on Philosophy scattered around him.


  18. PETER (V.O.): The Socratic notion emphasizes the importance of an examined, engaged life.


  19. Peter reads underlined passages in books.


  20. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): By actively pursuing knowledge, virtue and self-reflection, I come to a deeper understanding of myself and my place in the world.


  21. Thinking.


  22. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): Such active doing is what ultimately defines my being ie my authentic self and how I live out my existence.


  23. Thinking.


  24. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): Similarly, the existentialist view holds that we aren't predetermined beings with a fixed essence.


  25. Peter reads underlined passages in books.


  26. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): I've the ability to make independent choices that shape the trajectory of my life.


  27. Thinking.


  28. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): Whether it is "to do is to be' or "to be is to do", the notion challenges humans as passive, predetermined beings.


  29. Contemplating.


  30. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): With free will comes with responsibility.


  31. Thinking.


  32. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): As I'm the author of my own existence, I can't blame my circumstances for who I'm.


  33. Thinking.


  34. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): I'm personally answerable, responsible and accountable for the choices I make and the actions I take.


  35. END FLASHBACK


  36. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): So, I set out my short-term objectives and long-term goals, strategized and executed them relentlessly.


  37. Recalling.


  38. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): Back then, I was so certain, so eager to assert my freedom and responsibility.


  39. Recalling.


  40. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): I thought the only restraint was myself.


  41. Reflecting.


  42. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): I accomplished nearly all of my short-term objectives, but just a few of my long-term goals.


  43. Recalling.


  44. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): Adapting to circumstances, I made the most of the situations.


  45. Pausing.


  46. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): Still, I've come to accept that I'm shaped not just by my own choices, but also by a vast array of external factors.


  47. Pausing.


  48. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): I can't control my genes, my upbringing, my social and cultural contexts etc that contribute to who I'm.


  49. Pausing.


  50. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): And I can be the right person in the right situation, but at the wrong time.


  51. Peter gazes thoughtfully out the window, lost in contemplation.


  52. Act 3


  53. INT. LIVING ROOM - 21:45


  54. Peter inserts an AI drawing entitled "To Be & To Do ..." to a draft.


  55. PETER (V.O): The "to be is to do" and "to do is to be" perspectives are often presented as binary opposites.


  56. Thinking.


  57. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): I fully acknowledge that external factors do play a significant role in shaping my identity and my life paths, despite my desire for self-determination.


  58. Reflecting.


  59. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): The investigative process to find everything in between individual agency and systematic influences never ends, but that's what makes it worthwhile.


  60. FADE OUT


  61. THE END


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