I love holiday weekends as it is the perfect time to get some well deserved relaxation, spend some quality time with family and possibly watch some of your favorite flicks. I have many, but the one I enjoyed the most this weekend was, Men of Honor, a film based on a true life story, featuring Cuba Gooding Jr. (Carl Breshear) and Robert De Niro (Chief Sunday).
There are so many wonderful lessons in this movie; I simply do not know where to begin. At the onset of the movie, we meet a young Carl Brashear (a.k.a. Cookie) who insisted that he and his brother help his father with plowing the land so they could make the necessary deadline and ensure that the family did not lose its land.
Upon his departure for the Navy, Carl’s father pleaded with him to not return to his home for a long time. He encouraged him to go after his goals, no matter the chore. He told him, “You get in there and fight!” He further told him to not accept any promises from others, only himself and when it get’s hard (because it will), do not quit ever! He then handed him a homemade radio with the inscription ANSF (A Son Never Forgets) to remind himself of all the lessons he had been taught. This, along with the picture of his strong-willed father (who possessed true honor) is what encouraged him on those days he most certainly wanted to give up.
Carl believed in his dream so much, that he wrote over 100 letters to the United States Naval Academy diving school and stood outside of the gate every day until finally he was permitted access. At every opportunity, he went against the grain and kept moving towards his destiny that was sown into his heart at an early age. When he did not receive the honor due to him for saving the lives of two trainees, he maintained his composure as he watched someone else receive recognition, knowing that he had bigger goals to focus on. Which reminded me that, no matter where you are, your dreams are valid.
During a dialogue with his first future wife, Jo, when she stated, “I am going to work hard and keep my head down” Cookie stated, “And watch your whole life pass you by!” So, my question to each of us is how much life have we allowed to pass by because we get (have gotten) comfortable where we are instead of taking one or two steps toward our dream?
Despite being instructed to not show up for the final test to become a Navy diver, Cookie did so and was given the biggest challenge of his life, a tool bag that was cut open prior to being dropped in the lake (how mean is that?). Regardless, he would not give up and stayed under water for over nine hours to finally hear the words murmured by Chief Sunday, “Perfect assembly!”
I believe it was at that point that the Chief fell in sincere love with Cookie (along with the other mates). We know this because it was at this point that he was willing to sacrifice his career to “bring him up!” when he was told to leave him down there until he was not moving. The chief was operating with honor, one of the main core values of being a Navy Man. The others are equal unto it, courage and commitment.
Honor is everything, and as a reminder, “We should prefer to fail with honor than to win with dishonor!”
Now, I shall ask you again, based on the above, are you a man or woman of honor? Please share in the comments.
Move Forward In Righteousness XOXO ♥