“They Look Like Big, Good, Strong Hands, Don’t They?”

7 03 2011

I was raised on a healthy diet of 80’s movies.  The tradition is carried on in my younger brother Nathaniel, who asks regularly for films like Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, and The Neverending Story.

In every movie, there is a scene that people call, “The Sad Part.”  In The Neverending Story, it comes when Atreyu meets the stone giant Rock Biter.  Both Atreyu and Rock Biter have lost their friends to the Nothing.  You can see the scene below.

After this scene, Atreyu goes on in his quest–despite having lost his horse, his luck dragon, everything.  What makes a stone giant give up, and a child keep on?

Although an extreme and fictional example, I think there’s a lot to learn from this scene.  People who are used to relying on their own strength–their big, good, strong hands–crumble when a Nothing comes along and shows them just how weak they really are.  A child isn’t strong.  But they wake up, looking for fun and adventure in each day.  Sadness strikes–they get sad and then get over it, looking for more adventure.  For life.

When the Nothing comes to you–and it will, every so often–you have two options.  Sit and wallow in the realization at just how vulnerable you are, or get up and start living again.

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