Thursday, November 18, 2010

On Rocky

"You ain't gonna believe this, but you used to fit right here. I'd hold you up to say to your mother, "This kid's gonna be the best kid in the world. This kid's gonna be somebody better than anybody I ever knew." And you grew up good and wonderful. It was great just watching you, every day was like a privilige. Then the time come for you to be your own man and take on the world, and you did. But somewhere along the line, you changed. You stopped being you. You let people stick a finger in your face and tell you you're no good. And when things got hard, you started looking for something to blame, like a big shadow. Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done! Now if you know what you're worth then go out and get what you're worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain't you! You're better than that! I'm always gonna love you no matter what. No matter what happens. You're my son and you're my blood. You're the best thing in my life. But until you start believing in yourself, ya ain't gonna have a life. Don't forget to visit your mother."

When I first heard Rocky's speech, I felt like he was telling me to "snap out of it," to "shake it off." That sort of hurt. Those are phrases I don't like to hear. If you're telling me to snap out of it, then you clearly don't understand how all this works. You don't understand that if I could simply snap out of it, I would have done that long ago. But I can't, so I haven't.

Rocky is right: the world is most definitely not sunshine and rainbows. It is full of dark, difficult things that we must experience. And it does "beat you to your knees."

I don't really understand how to "keep moving forward." I suppose that's like getting out of bed each day and facing the world no matter how hard it seems. And winning? Since life is a battle, I suppose you can win. Maybe winning happens when you get to the end of the day and say to yourself, "I've done all I can do, and that's enough."

"If you know what you're worth, then go out and get what you're worth." Maybe, "If you know what you WANT, then go out and get what you WANT." That's where fighting comes in--fighting your battle.

The phrase from Rocky's speech that I understand best comes near the end when he says, "Until you start believing in yourself, you're not going to have a life." To me, this means that if you spend your whole life wound up in your battle, you'll miss those small, beautiful things that occur every day.

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