“If you want to believe in something, then believe in it. Just ’cause something isn’t true, that’s no reason you can’t believe in it. There’s a long speech I give to young men, sounds like you need to hear a piece of it. Just a piece. ‘Sometimes, the things that may or may not be true are the things a man needs to believe in the most. That people are basically good; that honor, courage, and virtue mean everything; that power and money, money and power, mean nothing; that good always triumphs over evil; and I want you to remember this, that love… true love never dies. You remember that, boy. You remember that. Doesn’t matter if it’s true or not, you see. A man should believe in those things because those are the things worth believing in.’ You got that?”
This is from one of my favorite scenes from Secondhand Lions. (I actually have quite a few favorite scenes from this movie)
Young Walter is talking to his Great-Uncle Hubb, and he asks, directly, if the stories he’s been told about Africa and Jasmine are true. He’s hungry for something true, because all he’s heard all his life are lies, particularly from his mother. So to believe in his uncles, to believe their stories, to believe… it’s a big step for Walter.
So Hubb, seeing Walter’s vulnerability, his need for truth, gives him this piece of his “What Every Boy Needs to Know About Being a Man” Speech, and it’s very simple: believe.
The world tells you, “Don’t believe.” The world says, “If you believe something that isn’t always true, then you’re a fool.” The world wants to convince us, “Nothing is true. Those old, antiquated, naïve things you were told in your childhood are false, there is no good or decency, only power matters.”
Hubb McCann has been around the world. He’s seen a lot, fought, suffered, and lost precious things. He disagrees with the world. Even more, he knows that without believing in those things the world so readily ridicules, then men cannot be Men, and life cannot be Life.
This tough old man believes in true love, and that is what has always made him strong.