My Favorite Stories and Their Feel – The Last Samurai (2003) a film by Edward Zwick 

The Film, The Last Samurai, starts off like any film.  We are presented with problems in the world.  Better yet, we are presented with a cosmic problem and a microscopic problem.  The cosmic, or larger, problem is that there are internal struggles that are taking place both in the US and in Japan.  In the US, westward expansion meant removing the Native Americans from the lands they had loved and protected for centuries.  In Japan, the wholeness of a culture was being torn apart by a rebellion.  The micro dilemma lies in an American Soldier sick with guilt and condemnation and dying an angry alcoholic.  

An opportunity comes around for our Soldier, Nathan Algren, when his former Colonel contracts him to train the Japanese military using Western Strategy.  You see, a rebellion has risen against Westernization in Japan.  The traditional Samaurai have opposed the changes to culture and are ready to die for it.  The Japan Army has rifles while the Samurai still use bow and arrow.  For Algren, the task seemed like eaten cake.  Only the army consisted of farmers and laborers while the Samurai were life-long trained warriors.  This became more than reality on Algren’s first encounter with the Samurai.  The army fell apart with the first wave and Algren was captured by the rebellion.  

Algren spends several months in captivity but is allowed to participate and learn of Samurai culture and customs.  His relationship with the rebellion leader,  Katsumoto, becomes that of student and mentor.  Algren is transformed from the inside out.  

Algrens internal struggles stem from his shame.  The shame he sees in the mirror of who he used to be in the military.  Things he had to do and things he had to see.  We can relate to this even in the alternate.  Maybe there is a disappointment that we feel of things we weren’t able to do and things we may not ever have the chance to see.

What resonates most is the drastic change of scenery that Algren needed to find the cure.  We can see our surrounding and we know that this is life.  It’s a repetition of places and faces; of stresses and turmoils.  Can a change in that scenery bring perspective?  For Algren, that change came physically.  After all he was kidnapped by a Rebel force in Japan.  But for all of us, we must not forget that our number one landscape is our mind.  Our perspective and our take on the world we live in.  A change in landscape doesn’t always happen because we are clingy as humans.  But what if it did?  

Algren found a healthy body and a sound mind when he was snatched from his reality.  The new place gave him new principles and allowed him to find peace and forgiveness.  

As you watch the film, the slow but steady glimmer of light for Algren keeps you wanting more.  You are hopeful for him, even if when you were disgusted by him at the beginning.  This hope is one you fall in love with because you want it for yourself.  You wish it on Algren because you hope someone wishes it for you.  This is not to say that everyone’s life is miserable and everyone is an alcoholic.  No, not by a long shot.  But the sure thing is that everyone is longing for improvement.  A change is needed in every circumstance to achieve that.


The Great Feeling of Success!

A true friend identifies the moments in life where these 3 reassurances can be applied. For 99% of us, this is everyday!!

I won’t go too much into detail on what Im excited about, but……!  This post is really just me letting you know that:

  1. You Are Not Alone
  2. Hang In There
  3. Don’t Give Up!

A true friend identifies the moments in life where these 3 reassurances can be applied.  For 99% of us, this is everyday!!  How many times have you thought to yourself, “If only someone could read my mind?  If only someone could tell me what I need to hear to get through this day?”  Well as many times as you have thought that in a single day, I assure you that your closest friend or relative has done the same.  Don’t hesitate to know that you can make a difference in someone’s day by speaking up and reassuring them of the above list.

About a month ago I made a promise to myself that I would be CONSISTENT & PERSEVERE with a few things in life.  Mainly with prayer, reading the Bible, and amongst other things being committed to you – my readers!  I committed myself to writing at least every other day.  At times, I’ve managed to write once a day for almost a week!  But it wasn’t without setting my mind and attitude straight.

Most times in life it feels that everything is a gamble.  You know what you should be doing but you are afraid to commit the energy and time into something that no one can concretely promise you.  I know that its scary and failure is, if not many more things, frustrating.  Im here to tell you that I have seen the promise land!  LOL.  Thats me telling you not to be afraid.  When you see something that you want and you want to commit to it – THEN COMMIT!!  Don’t question the steps or the risks that you have to take.  Remember that everything that is worth fighting for, you have to fight for.

The last month has thrown a lot at my family and keeping the faith has been tough.  Its a refreshing moment when you see the other side and there is a bright sunny day there welcoming you out of the gloom.  At that point you realize that life is still far from perfect and dandy, but success in one area is enough to give you that nudge to continue to push forward.  Its hard to have and to achieve everything that you want in one day.  But one at a time you can have small successes that, one by one, reassure you that you do have what it takes and that CONSISTENCY & PERSEVERANCE pay off.  Before God and the world, they pay off.  By Gholly They Pay Off!!!!

So there it is friends!  Whatever it is that you have on your mind tonight; whatever it is that you are sure is going to keep you up, don’t fear it.  Just be CONSISTENT & PERSEVERE!  Do what you know is good and maintain your integrity in whatever venture you have set forth on.  That is the way to blessing and grace.

Repetition and Reputation 

There can not be an epiphany without suffering. Suffering can be anything difficult in life; from an injury to the loss of a loved one. When these things happen, they are a jolt to our otherwise mundane style of life. Mundane in the sense of routine, repetitive, mechanic, robotic. It’s that stagnant mode that we get into where it’s hard to get our attention. Where our money and success often over shadow the realities of this world. Those things that we say, “It will never happen to me.”  

So at this point of the storm you realize that you are, in fact, in a storm. The wind howls, the icy rain clashes against your skin, the thunder crashes; it’s a head ache and it’s all designed to startle you. It’s purpose is to test you and challenge you. You are supposed to learn something.  

You can’t learn everything to know in one sit down though. This is why High School and College courses are a repetition of the same material. This is how we learn; this is the only way that humans can adapt to new information. This is how we are molded.

So where is there room to complain? The process is for us. It’s designed to change your course of actions or perspective on life. It’s called “Perspective on life”, not perspective “of” life. That’s because when you acquire perspective, and especially the right one, you end up ontop of any situation in life. We were made to reign over and be on top of the world, not for the world to be on top of us.  

It’s all there to change your reputation. The reputation that you have before God, or the universe, of the decisions that you make and the paths that you take. Life is just a bunch of forks in the road. Your reputation is built on whether you go right or left. The tough stuff confronts us to wise-us-up. To help us grow. To show us what we can’t learn when we are stuck in robot mode. The point is to get through the scuffle with a grateful heart. This will turn on your spirits windshield wipers; get rid of all the grime built up that doesn’t let you see. It’s in this clarity that you can see what you need to learn. This way, when the sky clears up and the winds dies down, you can put into practice what you have learned…..

JC ~ Thoughts in an ER room

Just a thought

Time builds us stronger
Makes us grow
A word makes us wiser
Let’s us know
The days release our chain
Our victory is our refrain
Corrupt is what our eyes see
Slaves to our own ambition
Men of little Faith
Doubt is our affliction
The mirror reflects our sickness
The cure – a mind renewed
Time builds us stronger
Makes us grow
A word makes us wiser
Let’s us know
The days release our chain
Our victory is our refrain

Yet our time is a disdain
The word is lost
Refrain is a stranger
The chain thickens
The soul sickens