“I Am of Weak Character”

‘These men and women remind us that heroism is found not only on the fields of battle. They remind us that heroism does not require special training or physical strength. Heroism is here, in the hearts of so many of our fellow citizens, all around us, just waiting to be summoned — as it was on Saturday morning. Their actions, their selflessness poses a challenge to each of us…’

In listening to President Obama’s Memorial Speech in Tuscon, I was prompted to watch the movie Brokedown Palace for a second time. Have you seen it?

‘I am of Weak Character.’ Do you remember that line? Spoken by Claire Danes (as Alice) on her knees and begging the emissary of King of Thailand to allow her to do the her friend’s time in addition to her own in exchange for her friends release from prison. There is so much more going on here than I write today, it is a must see movie in my opinion. Alice is diplomatic in her choosing of this line based on what she had learned through her experiences in Brokedown Palace. This movie is one of my favorites. Definitely one that has stayed with me and I think of it often.

What’s different about my second time watching this movie is that I have since read Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning. How do you find meaning of life while being detained in a concentration camp?

“It did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life – daily and hourly. Our answer must consist not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.”

It’s interesting how all things come together because finally from this, I was drawn to look up Character:

‘Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.’ Romans 5: 3-4

You really see Alice (Claire Danes) move through these three stages throughout her time in Brokedown Palace. I also won’t forget the look on her face at the end, hope.

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