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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



  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.


  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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