|It doesn't really mean anything, but I love space and it's quite purty.|
"The man who never makes a mistake always takes orders from one who does." - Anonymous
Today is a special day for my family as it marks what would have been the 55th wedding anniversary of my parents. Since my father has passed on almost 20 years now, the celebration has been muted. There are many wishes, but mainly that I hope that he had lived long enough for me to start paying the favor.
I had started with a more jocular tone in this post, assigning blame on someone who deserves it, but it didn't feel right, so I decided to put that part away. Once again I find myself showing off for others in writing instantaneously, and find that what I wrote doesn't make any sense at all.
So here, in the middle of watching a brilliant display of acting by Denzel Washington on the movie "Flight," time to recapture my thoughts. Denzel is back at where he is best: deeply pained (and flawed) charming working man, an identity he achieved between his first Oscar win in "Glory" and one of his popular roles (one of my favorites as well) as Jake Shuttlesworth in "He Got Game." As he has gotten older, it's a bit reassuring that he still manages to romance some of the best-looking actresses of the day - Milla Jovovich, Eva Mendes, Nadine Velazquez, to name a few. He did star opposite Whitney Houston and Julia Roberts, but hmmm... never mind.
Barring the technical scenes of flying, the themes in the movie "Flight" are so universal I believe it can be remade into a Filipino setting, with perhaps Cesar Montano doing Denzel's role. Not Robin Padilla - he doesn't communicate enough book intelligence to pull a pilot off. Not Bong Revilla, because he can't act, unless acting like a Senator counts, for which he is doing an awards-worthy performance. Not Jinggoy Estrada, he doesn't have the physicality of a pilot. Not Aga Muhlach (much too good-looking to be insecure). I have a ton of jokes about other actors, but we're getting away from point.
The climax of the film entails a decision the character had to make which would define his life. While most decisions are not on the same nature as "game-changers" all kinds of decisions entail some amount of risk.
Risk is what makes people averse to making decisions that carry some negative but necessary consequences. Inviting confrontation is one thing. Volunteering to do more for the sake of the team, without expectation of credit is one another. Asking to be recognized for that kind of voluntary work is still one more.
The willingness to take risks and make mistakes is what earns people's trust - few people make headway with squeaky-clean records. This is not saying that deliberately doing something bad would give someone a better resume. Rather, it's the willingness to do something that is unpopular, uncomfortable, or conventional that enables people to succeed. It is said the best way to lose your head is to stick your neck out for something; on the other there is no way for someone to go forward unless you stretch all the way. The same pose that where people get beheaded is the same where they get knighted.
I laud all my fellow expats who undertook great risks to get here. At times, they accept demotions, take on additional debt, do something different from what they used to do, on top of being separated from their families, just to get here to the Middle East.
However, by the time they get here, something fundamentally changes.