"One ought, everyday at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture and speak a few reasonable words." --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Keep Breathing

Have you ever had one of those Murphy’s Law phases; you know, when it seems like anything that can go wrong, does? Yeah, I’m in one of those phases right now. Nothing really BIG is happening; just an accumulation of little things like broken cars, faucets, attitudes, etc. Life just feels heavy and I feel like I’m not in control of much.

Whenever life gets me down like this, I’ve taught myself to open up my quote closet and start pulling out words of wisdom on the topic of Adversity. I can’t count how many times this little act has helped me! Adversity quotes pump me up and make me feel courageous and capable.

It was during another comforting, encouraging visit to my quote closet that I came across one of my favorite movie scenes of all time, and wanted to share.

I don’t know if you’ve seen the movie Cast Away with Tom Hanks, but I’ll just give a brief introduction just to set up the quote.

Chuck Nolan is the only survivor of a plane crash into the ocean and gets washed up on the shore of a remote island. He is resourceful and is able to survive for many years on the island. But after a while, the loneliness and hopelessness of his situation starts to get to him. It’s clear he won’t be rescued, he can’t escape, and he is faced with the prospect of the daily, monotonous grind of survival without hope of love or companionship. He had control over very little, so he decided he could at least control his death and tried to hang himself. After that failed, he resigned himself to meaningless survival, when a port-a-potty washes ashore and gives him the idea of a sail. He uses it in the construction of a boat, which he takes out on the open ocean, probably with the idea that he’d die at least TRYING to escape. At the brink of death, he is rescued and taken back to his home in Memphis, Tennessee where he learns that Kelly, the woman he was engaged to before the crash, thought him dead and eventually married another man. It is under these devastating circumstances that the best, most life-changing, hopeful scene in movie history takes place. I cry every time I watch it (or read the quote).

"A feeling came over me like a warm blanket. I knew…somehow…that I had to stay alive. I had to keep breathing, even though there was no reason to hope and all my logic said I would never see [home] again. So, that’s what I did. I stayed alive. I kept breathing. And one day all that logic was proven all wrong because the tide came in and gave me a sail. And now here I am. I’m back [in] Memphis…talking to you. I have ice in my glass. ... And I know what I have to do now…gotta keep breathing…because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?”
--Chuck Nolan, played by Tom Hanks in Cast Away

Keep breathing. I can do that…

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