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…”

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25 Replies to “Why You Can Overcome Anything”

  • Reminds me of a poem

    Still I Rise
    You may write me down in history
    With your bitter, twisted lies,
    You may trod me in the very dirt
    But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

    Does my sassiness upset you?
    Why are you beset with gloom?
    ’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
    Pumping in my living room.

    Just like moons and like suns,
    With the certainty of tides,
    Just like hopes springing high,
    Still I’ll rise.

    Did you want to see me broken?
    Bowed head and lowered eyes?
    Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
    Weakened by my soulful cries?

    Does my haughtiness offend you?
    Don’t you take it awful hard
    ’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
    Diggin’ in my own backyard.

    You may shoot me with your words,
    You may cut me with your eyes,
    You may kill me with your hatefulness,
    But still, like air, I’ll rise.

    Does my sexiness upset you?
    Does it come as a surprise
    That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
    At the meeting of my thighs?

    Out of the huts of history’s shame
    I rise
    Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
    I rise
    I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
    Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

    Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
    I rise
    Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
    I rise
    Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
    I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
    I rise
    I rise
    I rise.

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