A Few Good Mendicants

I just watched the Aaron Sorkin opus, A Few Good Men.

Besides the famous line uttered by Jack Nicholson’s character, “You can’t handle the truth!” and the disturbing evidence that Tom Cruise can, in fact, act, there’s a startling bit of turnabout that’s more energy redirection than force-met-with-force.

In fact, I’d go so far as to say the lynchpin of the entire play/screenplay—and not just the trial contained therein—is simply this: those people who are so sure and so convinced that the world works just as they see it are begging to tell you about their own extraordinary behavior along those lines.

Like a villian in a melodrama “monologues” right before he’s destroyed, there are those drama queens, narcissists, control freaks and other shallow slips of humanity out there that are dying to get it all out and tell you why they’re always right and disagreement isn’t just a difference of opinion, it’s just Plain Wrong.

As Shakespeare wrote: “happy are they that hear their detractions and can put them to mending”. Early on I was taught that being wrong wasn’t bad, but not learning from it was.

In certain martial arts the mindful student will remember that often the key to success is to use one’s opponent’s own energies against him.

It’s a theme I won’t soon forget.

More Shakespeare: “In practise let us put it presently.”

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