Apocalypto The Movie Made My Cup Overfillith With Fortitude
Just watched the Apocalypto movie again. This Mel Gibsson flick was incredible and when it comes to thinking about things to write concerning masculinity, masculine men, manliness or manly behavior, my cup overfillith with topics that spewed out of this masterpiece.
If you are not familiar with the movie, take a peak at this theatrical trailer. For more information, visit Apocalypto at Wikipedia to find out the plot.
I can’t wait to write on all the different things that come to mind from this movie, but for now, there is just one singular point that struck me as a major theme throughout. Jaguar Paw, the main character that had his world turn upside down by the barbarian intruders, goes through quite a spectrum of fortitude.
He starts off quite cocky when he really isn’t being tested as a man in his tribe. Then he goes all the way back to fear and being a boy when his captures take over his life. When he is faced with death, it is by shear luck that he is spared by the solar eclipse that spooks the savages.
After his life is spared, he then has to endure a game played by his captures that ends in his death – where he has to run away as the warriors are shooting arrows and throwing spears at him. He narrowly escapes this and in the process whacking the main nemesis’ son (that scene was was VERY cool). Once this happens, the movie begins to turn and you simply can not help wanting, no needing, Jaguar Paw to live and prevail. All the while he is trying to get back to his place in the forest so he can save his wife, his son, and his unborn child trapped in a pit.
So, he has some things go his way long enough to recover from the multiple spear wounds and the such only to find himself staring at a waterfall as his hunters are closing in. Below is a a one minute snippet of the entire scene, but it this little piece captures the important aspect in my opinion.
At this point, he starts to believe that he can win where he never thought he could. He comes to the realization he can win because he is willing to do what others are not. And therein lies the most important facet of this movie. What are you willing to do that your competition, your enemies, your friends, anyone else around you is NOT willing to do. Also, he believes.
It is the leap of faith that the reason the others are not taking advantage of the situation is that they fear losing something. Their pride, their standing amongst their peers, their job, whatever. But once you are able to succeed where others have failed (or others have not even believed they could achieve so they did not even try) then the others will follow. Just like in this movie where the hunters decided it was OK to jump off the waterfall after him. They did so because Jaguar Paw was able to show them it could be done.
Remember when the all the experts believed the human body could not endure a sub 4 minute mile. They said it was physically impossible for a human to withstand that kind of pressure on its systems. For decades (heck, centuries), all believed it could not and would not ever happen. Then, in 1954, a wiry young chap from England by the name of Roger Bannister broke the elusive barrier.
Since then, well over 3,000 runners have broken the elusive barrier that was to believed never to have been broken – 300+ within the first 5 years of Bannister’s run. What did all those folks do differently than the thousands that came before them – nothing. They simply believed they could do it and that was all it took. Once they believed they could, then those people were not longer fearing the unknown. They allowed themselves the luxury of someone else answering all the tough questions.
Not too many people remember the 2nd or 3rd guy, but everyone remembers the name Roger Bannister – he was the first. He knew it could be done and he was willing to do what others before him were not. That is what can separate the men from the boys. Not everyone can be a Roger Bannister or Jackie Robinson, but you can ask yourself the question on a daily basis – what am I willing to do to get what I want? What will I do (and do successfully regardless of the outcome) that will like men pee their pants in fear?
Don’t settle and put it on autopilot. Do what others are not willing to do!!!
If you have not seen the Apocalypto movie, do yourself a favor and go rent it. Better yet, just buy it and add it to your collection. You will want to watch it multiple times and when our sons get older, you will want them to see it and learn the lessons it teaches.
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