We only get glimpses of glory. That’s the way it was meant to be. We only get fragments of the eternal. Though we hold the idea of it in our mind we barely fathom the immense structure of forever. On my plane flight home I was able to skim through a few movies: Gladiator, The Last Samurai and Rocky. I studied each movie. Each timeless movie speaks to me as it likely does to other men. Daily some of us wrestle with a heightened awareness that there is another world out there waiting for us. There is bifurcation in our singular thought; we are of two minds. We exist in the life of the mundane yet yearn for another life to filled with greatness.
It seems there is a simple truth in it, that by simply living in our ordinary world we are granted opportunities to see the immensity of this world and where we fit in it. I do not know whether you will experience painful profundity or immense joy unequally. Each protagonist has a struggle. Maximus, Algren and Balboa face challenges. Whether it was thrust upon them or they chose it is irrelevant to me. Their way of navigating through it is to take chances, be true to their goal, and to do the work to achieve it; all of their journeys are fraught with peril.
Key moments are Maximus’ vision of Elysium, Rocky’s celebratory dance on the stairs, and Algren’s return to honor. Each hero’s struggle reveals something about them that connects with us, and it is their humanity. Simply existing may bring glimpses of glory, this nebulous, heightened awareness of another world but waiting for it to happen may not happen.
Glory is fleeting, as my friend Kurt Delia says, and that’s true. I do not say chase glory. I say take risks, be focused & true in order to find your humanity and peace. If living in the mundane is the equilibrium then I ask what can you do to go up or down, rise or fall? Outside of a death, birth of a child or wedding day to change our perspective what are you doing to enlarge your view of life and enhance your focus? Both can bring a sobering understanding of where you need to be next and it allows you to choose your next move. If the ordinary is the equilibrium then just one honest and deliberate choice brings a heightened awareness of this world. There is no greater sovereign eloquence than when a man accepts his being, and nothing better than knowing his meaning and purpose.
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