It is no secret that I am a huge cinema fan.
There are many movies and movie characters that inspire me, but in particular I have noticed that Clint Eastwood is a great mentor if you have self-confidence issues.
Some of Clint’s most famous roles, like police inspector Harry Callahan in “Dirty Harry,” war veteran Walt Kowalski in “Gran Torino,” and Secret Service agent Frank Horrigan in “In the Line of Fire,” teach us all what it means to have a sense of yourself, your talents, your capabilities, your personal “line in the sand” and your self-integrity.
Admittedly, Clint has as many great “bad guy” roles to his credit as his “good guy” star-making roles, but this too is just a metaphor for the many sides of “us,” as his movie “The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly” succinctly reminds us.
One of my favorite scenes is from “Dirty Harry” where the bad guys – four total – are trying to rob the diner where Harry gets his coffee each morning. To warn him, the waitress pours lots of sugar in his black coffee. Harry, reading the morning paper, fails to notice until he gets outside, tastes his brew, and spits it back out.
And promptly heads back to the coffee shop.
The robbers, undeterred, carry on with their crime, convinced one man – even a man like Harry – cannot possibly stop their crew from getting away. At which point Harry demonstrates what a courageous heart, a good aim, and a sense of right and wrong can pull off, and utters his famous line at the last man standing, “Go ahead – make my day.”
When I was in sixth grade and my best friend at the time (and since kindergarten), Leslie, told me I was too fat to be seen with, too fat to be popular, too fat to continue being her friend, I didn’t rear back and let her have it. I didn’t tell her, as Clint would have done, “Go ahead and try it – go ahead, make my day.”
I went on a diet, grateful someone had pointed out what was “wrong” with me, and promptly headed into a full-blown case of anorexia and bulimia that would plague me for 15 long years.
The next time someone challenges what you know to be true about yourself, treats you uncaringly or callously, wounds you with words or actions, or attempts to shame you, what are you going to do?
What would Clint do?
Today’s Takeaway: If you don’t know what is true about you, then this is where you start. Get to know yourself. Get to know yourself so well that if you come across a judgmental friend, an unethical co-worker, or a peer who is not working their recovery program and wants you to join them, you won’t hesitate to do the right thing for you.
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Last reviewed: 22 Dec 2011