Resilience

Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get it and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now if you know what you’re worth then go out and get what you’re worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain’t you! You’re better than that!

In today’s society, we label “winners” are those who reap the awards and accolades, those who stand out from the bunch. They’re the ones who are actually recognized by their title. Simply put, they’re the guys who win. You know? The guys with the big trophies and countless medals. Everyone knows them. But are they really the true winners? Sure, they worked as hard (if not harder) to get that 1st place. Sure, they had to overcome their fears and obstacles. But what really is the difference between the “winner” and the “loser?” Absolutely nothing.

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Let’s call the second place guy “Bob.” To me, Bob’s the winner. He really didn’t lose anything. In fact, this is his opportunity to prove to himself that he is stronger than ever. That he has the strength to stand up again and keep on fighting. And most importantly, to prove to himself that he can still believe: to have faith in himself and his abilities. It is then that he will gain self- acceptance, and thus a sense of accomplishment. Acceptance that everything will be okay and accomplishment in what he has earned within himself: resilience.

In the movie “Rocky,” the main character is portrayed as a motivated individual, who is bound to win 1st place, despite being the underdog. Throughout the movie, we are reminded of Rocky’s work ethic and determination. We’ve seen him train and suffer. We’ve seen him at his high points, and at his low points. It’s bound to happen that Rocky will win the battle. I mean… he’s the main character! Main characters are always the winners. Don’t we want to be reassured that hard work and dedication really does pay off? Rocky is the perfect example! Or so we thought…

That was why I was so surprised to find that Rocky lost his boxing match against Apollo Creed… In fact, I hadn’t actually registered the fact that Rocky had lost until my teacher explained what really went down. However, it was clear that Rocky was the winner. He not only demonstrated his character, but also his resilience and determination. It was after the movie and my teacher’s explanation that made me realize how immature I was to think that Rocky would beat Apollo. He was fighting against a first place national champion for goodness sake! Rocky had absolutely no chance at beating him. What inspired me was that Rocky put up a good fight. He didn’t hand Apollo the first place title. Rocky made him work for it.  I was in awe. It was obvious that Rocky came into the tournament knowing that he would lose. However, he didn’t let it stop him from trying his best. That’s what is so admirable about this Rocky character… that he didn’t give up and was always working hard.

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Rocky has taught me that having resilience is key. At times, life can be (and will be) so brutal, but at the end of the day,  it’s you has the power to respond to these obstacles, whether positively or negatively.  Allowing it to crush you will only make matters worse. Using failure as an opportunity, an incentive  even, to become a better and stronger person is the key to success. Never give up, my  friends. Life will get better.

–Michelle

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