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Rocky Times

December 17, 2011

I love the human spirit.  And I love how movies capture that spirit…and inspire.

My favorite movie of all time is It’s A Wonderful Life.  This Frank Capra directed and Jimmy Stewart starred film is a Christmas holiday classic that captures the essence of that spirit.  It is a moving picture, in more ways than one, that deliver’s the divinely inspired message that every person’s life matters, and that “no man is a failure who has friends”.  I’ve seen the movie dozens of times since my first experience of it in college.  I watched it again recently, and would gladly watch it again and again.  It is well acted, finely directed, and has a compelling story that makes you thankful to be alive because it inspires you to appreciate and love the good in your humanity.  I don’t cry easily, but I frequently cry watching this movie.  If you haven’t seen it, see it.  If you have seen it, you must know what I know…see it again.

And, I’ve already written about my love of the movie Groundhog Day in my post at  It is another movie that has a rich story message to inspire us as humans to keep getting up and living to your best ability every day.  I’ve seen it dozens of times, and would, again, and again, and again….

Another movie series that inspires my love for the human spirit is the Rocky movie series.  Say what you will about Sylvester Stallone as a movie actor, he has time and again captured the essence of the courage of the human spirit to never, never, never give up.

The final movie in the series, Rocky Balboa, was not as acclaimed or successful as the original Rocky movie, but once again, it captured the courage of the human spirit through the words and action of the Rocky character.

In my favorite scene from that movie, Rocky speaks to his son in words that every father should want to convey in both words and actions:

“The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and 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 how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done.”

If you, like me, are having your own rocky times this Christmas season – times when life hits you hard and beats you to your knees – find inspiration wherever you can while you’re down there.  Maybe you’ll find it in a loved movie.  Maybe you’ll find it in a friend or loved one.  Maybe you’ll find it in a divinely-inspired message and “see the light” like Jake Blues in The Blues Brothers (another one of my favorite movies!).

But wherever you find the inspiration you need during your own rocky times this Christmas season, know that you are not alone, you have friends who care, and keep moving forward…keep moving forward…keep moving forward.   Better times are ahead.

Merry Christmas, and may God bless you and yours in the new year.

You can watch the referenced Rocky Balboa scene at

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