Unbroken

3 01 2015

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“If you can take it, you can make it.”

I took my son to see “Unbroken” yesterday. It was a good film. i tend to be a harsh critic so I will focus on the story and not the nature of Hollywood. It was a great story, particularly since it was a true story. Throughout the movie, there were callbacks to advice given to a young Louis Zamperini by his older brother regarding his ability to accomplish goals – “if you can take it, you can make it.”

I think this was a pretty poignant message – particularly for a 13 year old boy to hear. Often times, at that age, the superheroes that enter their head space are in transition from the super friends of yesteryear to the Avengers and ultimately to hyped-up, testosterone infused alpha males found in a variety of Xbox games and similarly themed TV programs. The real heroes are those that have to choose between “yes and no” for the “if” part of the “if you can make it” proposition. They are people like Louis Zamperini or the protagonists in both “Patch Adams” and “Awakenings” – both films I also watched with my kids over the holiday break.

It is so difficult, at least or me, to keep imparting the importance of perseverance, even in the realm of failure (especially in the realm of failure) to growing minds without sounding like Mike Brady from the Brady Bunch. It is so important though. It was not lost on either of my kids that Robin Williams, who had to portray really resilient, strong characters in so many movies was not able to get on the other side of that “if you can take it” statement and he, unfortunately, did not make it.

In my own life, that is something that I am trying to do a lot better at. It isn’t uncommon to hear things like “I can’t take it anymore”, “I just can’t wait for this to be over” or “I’m sorry – I just can’t….”. Truthfully, in all those cases, the word “can’t” is just a weaker substitute for “won’t”. It is true what they say about adversity – you never really know what you are capable of doing, what you really “can” do, until you are pushed and it’s a pretty great feeling when you realize you did “make it” after all.

Luckily, many of these challenges aren’t as severe as being lost at sea for 45 days or being tortured as a POW. They are daily challenges that seem to last forever but ultimately do or will come to an end and that really do make us stronger in the end. In my case, they make for some new comedic premises, also – not a bad thing.

Remember – you  CAN take it and you WILL make it.

Until next time,

Marc

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