Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"The Fighter" & John Gardner Writing

Some of my favorite posts to this blog have been on disparate subjects twined together... a good lead in to this missive on a boxing movie & a former Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare.

As to the boxing movie... watched The Fighter last night and found it to be an excellent movie. It was based on the true-life story of Micky Ward and his boxing career, but struck me as being more about the idea of fighting through adversity and trying to do what you feel right. To this end, Ward came from a fairly unbelievable (for someone who never lived it) background and had to constantly reconcile the choice between going his own way without family or sticking with them through a lot of hardship.

It was pretty heady stuff and not to just write in lofty platitudes, for me showed the import of not giving up and trying to push through to see where you'll land. Someone might not always know what the right thing is, but they just keep trying to figure it out and go after said right thing.

And... Christian Bale was really, really good in the film.


On to the perhaps not so different subject of John Gardner... former Cabinet member under President Lyndon Johnson.

I wrote some two years a blog post on Gardner linking to his writing and found him to be (along with Coach John Wooden, who I wrote about in these blog posts) a champion of this same "doing your best" idea that I took from the movie. Additionally, the quote below from a Gardner speech (and the two years past blog post) traffics in the topic of family and priorities...

Meaning is not something you stumble across, like the answer to a riddle or the prize in a treasure hunt. Meaning is something you build into your life. You build it out of your own past, out of your affections and loyalties, out of the experience of humankind as it is passed on to you, out of your own talent and understanding, out of the things you believe in, out of the things and people you love, out of the values for which you are willing to sacrifice something. The ingredients are there. You are the only one who can put them together into that unique pattern that will be your life. Let it be a life that has dignity and meaning for you. If it does, then the particular balance of success or failure is of less account."

Yea, perhaps it's a bit of a stretch, but I'd say the Micky Ward as shown in the movie and hypothetical person who takes Gardner's advice... not so different from one another.