An entry I wrote for a work newsletter in 2014.
Life Lessons from Movies and Television by Micah J. Duckless
"Never Give Up, Never Surrender"
Like the river of psycho-reactive slime in Ghostbusters II, negativity can be all consuming. Though life is a struggle, what with trying to think logically and act rationally a midst an onslaught of biochemical reactions to environmental stimuli, or "emotions", we need to realize that we are in control of our brains.
Everyone knows that ups and downs exist all throughout life and at times it seems like it's more down than up. This may be true, but Focus is key. Silver linings exist all around us and these are what will get us through to the next day, maybe even with a smile.
'It could be worse' is a phrase that could literally apply to any moment, all you need to do is focus on why it could be worse and how fortunate you are that it's not that bad. Let's face it, being not-well-off in America is already a pretty decent advantage.
To quote the misanthropically hilarious comic, Louis CK, "We have white people problems in America...You know what that is? That's where your life is amazing, and you just make stuff up to be upset about. People in other countries have real problems. Like, 'Oh, they're cutting off all our heads today.' Things like that."
Life can be tragic, but comedy is derived directly from tragedy. Sometimes we have to step outside our own heads to appreciate this, but it can be done. I like to look at those Unfair Life Occurrences with a smile, because...why not? We have to react somehow, and what fun is it to react negatively? Bad things and hardships will keep happening, that's it and that's all. It's how we deal with them that make the difference. Personally, when I stop laughing, that's when I've given up.
It's also important how we relate these adversities to others. People like to hear about things others are going through, because everyone has something and it's comforting to know that we're not alone. Though, it is important that we find some way to spin our stories with humor or a lesson. In doing this we can often discover positive aspects about these situations. The stand-up Marc Maron said; "That's the big challenge of Life; to chisel disappointment into wisdom so people respect you and you don't annoy your friends with your whining."
We all have 'low moments' and it's during these moments that everything can seem hopelessly bleak. But from our own pasts, and the fact we're still here, we know that this will pass, and perspective is very important during these times. South Park's fan favorite character, Leopold 'Butters' Stotch, said something very profound in one episode; "Yeah I'm sad, but at the same time, I'm really happy that something could make me feel that sad. It's like...it makes me feel human. The only way I could feel this sad now is if I felt something really good before. So, I have to take the bad with the good. I guess what I'm feeling is a beautiful sadness."
see the misfortunes in life as challenges, and if you face them with
a smile and are still standing after they're over, then you're
winning. On that note, let's take some advice from what some may
consider an unlikely source, Sylvester Stallone, the writer and
director of the 2006 film Rocky Balboa (Rocky VI);