Day Three : Braveheart

My 35 Day Life #ReThink explained through Hollywood Blockbusters.

One of the movie quotes that has haunted me the most throughout my life was when the father of Robert the Bruce told him “all kings lose heart”. It was the moment after he sold out William Wallace and submitted to the rule of King Longshanks of England. 
I thought to myself, here is a father telling his son that in order to rule, you have to break from the people you wish to lead. To be cold and calculating, in order to protect your own interests. To do what you know in your heart is wrong, by simply operating without it.

I have had a number of leadership roles throughout my life, and in every single one I’m constantly assessing to make sure I did NOT lose heart. I will admit there are times I drifted in that direction. When times get tough, when those who stand against you seem to indeed have lost heart - there is a temptation to fight fire with fire. That’s one of the reasons I’m here at the gym writing my ReThink blog, instead of at work today. I began to lose my confidence that I hadn’t lost heart.

During the battle scene in the movie where William Wallace chases down Robert the Bruce and unmasks him, there is a moment of sheer disappointment to see that the King has sold out. Taken up arms against those who he is charged to protect. Betrayed his nation. However (*spoiler alert*) after Wallace is killed, Robert finds his heart again and takes his place at the front of the battlefield to lead his people to freedom from tyranny. In that reversal, is the hopeful fact that even if we lose heart we can find it again. Preferably before anyone has to be drawn and quartered.

The uncompromising nature of the legend of William Wallace is most likely exaggerated. In reality he probably had to make a few deals with the small-minded Nobles in order to accomplish his visionary mission. Knowing this, how do we calibrate our own internal moral compass. How we know where do draw our own lines that we will not cross? How do we move them as we evolve? And most importantly how do we find them again if we lose them.

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m idealistic (probably an understatement). I bring more risk than most around me are comfortable with, because I’m always pushing hard towards the ideal. It’s still my opinion that they are so busy squabbling for the scraps from Longshank’s table that they’ve missed their god given right to something more...

Tomorrow : Cool Runnings

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  • Joseph Murphy