Louie’s older brother Pete advised him: “If you can take it, you can make it”
I watched the movie Unbroken today. Some of you, my friends, might say, “Why you didn’t call to watch the movie together with me?” or “Why you didn’t wait for me?” My simple answer is: If I wait for you, I’m not sure when I will be able to watch it. So I just went and watched it without you. The movie initial released was on November 2014 but in Malaysia, it was February 2015. The movie is based on real story about a man named Louis Zamperini, the Olympic athlete, World War II bombardier and prisoner of war. As I watched the movie, I learned 5 important lessons that inspired me personally:
#1: If You Can Take It, You Can Make It
Early on in the movie Louie’s brother, Pete, convinced him to try running as a way to get him focused, out of trouble and into something positive. At first Louie wanted to quit when it got hard. But his brother gave him advice that helped him through this journey – he said, “If you can take it, you can make it”. That advice become his life tagline. What’s yours?
#2: If You Have Someone Believes in You, You Can Do it
Louie is not a self-made champion. He wouldn’t be Olympic athlete if he didn’t get support from his parents, his brother, his track coach and even the policeman. When he was stranded in the ocean after the crashed flight, he then became the support person by telling the other two survivors about his mother’s cooking and other sweet memories to improve their morale and to keep their spirits high. Surrounding yourself with the right people who believe in you, support you and will rally for you when you’re off track. Treasure them. And in the same way, be the one who believe in others. We all need people to believe in us to help us achieve our best.
#3: If You Have Found the Meaning in Life, You Have the Will to Survive
In this movie, Louie stayed strong in the midst of difficulties, trials and pain. He have strong vision for the future. He demonstrated what Viktor Frankl author of Man’s Search for Meaning wrote, you can take a man’s health, you can put him in unimaginable horrific conditions, you can beat him and starve him, but you cannot break his will. Will is strengthened by having a meaning in life, a strong reason to survive.
#4: If You Feel Like Giving Up, Remember Self-Respect
A notoriously sadistic and brutal Japanese guard, Mutsuhiro Watanabe (a.k.a. The Bird), was obsessed with Louie. He singled Louie out from all the other prisoners. Almost every day he bullied Louie with horrific beatings along with other de-humanizing tasks. Louie refused to be broken by Watanabe. He have self-respect in himself. There is one scene where he ask to stand with heavy beam of wood as long as he can or the guard will shoot him if he let down the wood. He remain strong and standing as long as he could until Watanabe impassion with his determination and hit him until he passed out. This act of self-respect from Louie not only strengthened his other fellow prisoners but empowered them to survive and the exemplified life of Louie made them stronger.
#5: If There Is No Christ, There Will Be No Forgiveness
At the end of the movie, it was told that Louie finally achieved his dream to come to Tokyo, Japan for the Olympic. Not as athlete of course, he was very old by then, but as a touch runner. The movie also told that Louie have learned to forgive his enemies. But I wonder, how? How can he suddenly become a forgiving person when in the movie it shows that he and others are up for revenge once the war is over? How? Well, Angelina Jolie, the director, might not get very comfortable with this fact, that (this part was left out of the movie) Louie Zamperini had attended a sermon of Rev. Billy Graham and found that through dedicating his life to Christ he was able to make his mission forgiveness and not revenge. It wasn’t Louie’s strong will after all, it was Christ who have sustained, believed, and gave him the meaning of life. I love to know this truth.
You should watch this movie.
As for the ending, read the final chapter of the book.
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.