Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Succeed or Die: A Lesson from The Dark Knight Rises

Armed with his new knowledge, Bruce can escape from Hell.

*tiny spoiler alert ahead*

It makes perfect sense.

As long as that rope is tied around your waist, you will try. And you might try really hard. But as you rear back, take a deep breath, bend your legs, and leap -- you know that if you don’t make it to the next landing, you may not be satisfied, you may not be content, you may be unhappy, you may be depressed -- but you will survive.

What if you wouldn’t survive? What if you only got one shot and it’s...curtains?

To leap from that ledge without a rope, every muscle and nerve ending and adrenaline drop must come to the aid of the party.

Can the safety net keep us down?

It’s not a new question or a new debate at all. There’ve been books and films and philosophers and politicians mulling over it for centuries. But while watching The Dark Knight Rises, the debate renewed for me again.

Ironically, a couple weeks before watching the film, I was musing to someone during one of those whimsical “what would you do if you could do what you want” convos that it was the lack of a safety net that keeps me from leaping. I made a point that if I was married, and there were two incomes, it would be less risky to step out and be entrepreneurial, in whatever form that would take for me. With someone helping to hold things down, lights would stay on, bills would be paid, and my car wouldn’t be whisked away in the night. There’d be nothing to fear, nothing to lose. Well, at least nothing tangible.

But maybe it’s like what the old dude in the prison with Bruce Wayne said, real fear is necessary to climb out. It’s what makes mamas strong enough to lift cars. It’s what makes someone who’s been struggling with their weight all their lives finally get it together after hearing they’ll die if they don’t.

Fear is arguably the most powerful motivator in the world. Even when we’re talking love, fear is not far behind -- fear of losing love, fear of not ever finding true love, or fear of what/whom you love not loving you back.

We thrive on the support of others..our cheerleaders, our partners, our help. On the other hand, knowing your family, friends, mate, kids won't let you hit rock bottom might keep us from giving our all in some cases.  

At the end of the day, no matter what one's situation is -- whether you've got a trust fund or no funds, a spouse or just a cat to keep you company, we've all got one thing in common. This.Is It.

You can make many attempts in life, but there’s only one attempt at life.