Why You Can Overcome Anything
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Jameson: “Well, what do you want me to do with that?”
Matthew: “I don’t know. Let’s see what it looks like. Because I wasn’t even looking directly at the camera, but it could be a fun thing where we say, ‘We weren’t supposed to be shooting this tonight, but Matthew started ranting.’”
Matthew: “When we’re talking about the meaning we give to things, right, I was thinking about nature, nurture… and how the bamboos on this side of the garden grow much higher than the bamboos on this side of the garden. And how there couldn’t be more evidence of the fact that the right conditions produce healthier trees, healthier plants, healthier people.
“But the tree analogy doesn’t hold up as a perfect analogy for people. Because on the one hand, if people have the right conditions, they’re likely to be stronger, more confident, more secure, more loved, more everything, and therefore lead better lives.
“But the difference between trees and people is that people create meaning. Trees don’t. Trees need light. Human beings can create light. It’s in the ability to create light that we have this ability over and above what plants and trees do, that are solely dependent on the right conditions.
“We as human beings aren’t solely dependent on the right conditions. It’s that story of the two brothers that grow up with the same alcoholic father who treats his whole family like crap. Then these two brothers grow up and one goes on to treat his family like crap and become an alcoholic and the other one treats his family incredibly well, like kings and queens, and never touches a drop of alcohol.
“Both men later in life are asked the question, ‘Why are you the way you are?’
“Both men say exactly the same thing. ‘Well, with a father like mine, how could I have been anything else?’
“What we’re describing there is not simply two trees having grown up in the same conditions, that grew up to the same height, but two trees that grew up to very different heights under the same conditions. Why? Because human beings don’t just need light. Unlike trees, they have the ability to create their own light.
“That’s what meaning does.
“When we can create meaning behind something, we decide whether it’s going to give us light or darkness. That’s what makes human beings truly incredible, Jameson. Is that we can create meaning. That is why conditions are not the only things that determine a human being’s success.
“It’s even why the worst conditions can produce the greatest success. Because the greatest darkness can give way to people giving the most intense, profound meanings to that darkness. In other words, the greatest darkness can give way to the greatest light. That’s how we’re different from trees.”
Jameson: “Did you know bamboo is a grass…?”
Matthew: “We’re going to have to do it again…”