Sunday’s Wisdom #281: Keep Breathing

“I know what I have to do now: I’ve got to keep breathing, because tomorrow the sun will rise… who knows what the tide could bring?”
– Chuck Noland, Cast Away

I’m including the entire scene this quote comes from, because it is deeply important and profound. It explains and summarizes what I would say is the single most important truth of the entire movie, and one which many people, especially now, are in desperate need of.

For myself, I’ve actually never seen the movie in its entirety, but I’ve seen the end, from right about when Chuck gets off the island through to the ending at the crossroads, and it has stayed with me ever since. For a man to be stripped of everything and survive is remarkable, but even more so for the strength he gained, and shares, from such harrowing experience.

I honestly feel a little nuts knowing that times ahead are going to be harrowing in their own way. I would probably feel a lot better about it if I knew that I were a bit more capable and useful in dire situations, but I’m not. I am so limited, so weak, I have very little to offer in practical terms, and no idea how to use what I do have effectively. Times ahead are going to get very tough, and I don’t know what, if anything, I can do about it, even for myself, let alone for those around me. All I know is it’s going to take everything I’ve got and then some.

It will take nerve, composure, patience, endurance, and, above all, hope.

That may be my one advantage: I believe in hope.

I am certain that there are good things coming along with the bad. I am certain that if we can just look after ourselves and each other, we can make it through all right, and come out stronger. I am certain that when things get bad, the tide will bring in something we can use, something we need. We just have to keep breathing.

I have to keep breathing, and doing whatever I can.

Because I may not know what the future holds, and that is frightening… but it’s also encouraging.

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