Categorized | Thoughts & Inspiration

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Yo Adrian!

Posted on 05 May 2009


Having been born and lived most of my life in the metropolitan Philadelphia area, I am almost as familiar with the saga of Sylvester Stallone’s fictional character, Rocky Balboa, as I am with the lives of friends and family members.  I feel as if Rocky is a part of my family.  In the 1976 Academy Award-winner for Best Picture, Rocky, a small-time club fighter and collector for a loan shark, unexpectedly gets a prize fighter’s chance of a lifetime – a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship.  And, in losing a tightly-contested, split decision to a superior opponent, he displays that heart of a champion that is so endearing to the common man, for Rocky’s story – albeit fictional – is our story.  In Rocky’s imperfection, self-doubt, and struggle to achieve, each of us can perceive aspects of our own lives and stories.


If Rocky’s triumph in the original film is largely a moral one, his victories in sequels to the motion picture are tangible.  Arguably, the moment in the saga in which Rocky is most supremely triumphant comes at the conclusion of “Rocky II,” when having knocked out Apollo Creed, the champion to whom he had lost in the first film, Rocky stands in the middle of pandemonium at the center of the ring and, with the background music building to a crescendo, exclaims “Yo, Adrian, I did it!”


If we live long enough, I believe that each of us experiences “Yo Adrian” moments, times at which we achieve that which perhaps seemed impossible, or at the very least, unlikely to us.  At such times, we experience a sense of total joy and fulfillment.  But, we not only crave the sense of elation, but its acknowledgement by others, for our accomplishments seem incomplete absent acknowledgment and recognition by those about whom we care.  Thus, Rocky calls out to his wife, Adrian, to affirm and complete his achievement.


Perhaps, at such times, we also experience, or should, a profound sense of humility, for we can only achieve that for which we have the capability and those talents are gifts with which we have been endowed by our Creator.  In reality, there really are no men or women in this world who are self-made.  Of course, like Rocky, we may have worked very hard, often with the assistance of others, to hone those abilities.  But, in the final analysis, absent our God-given talents, the “Yo Adrian” moments of which we feel the greatest pride in personal accomplishment would not have been possible.


And so, the next time you are overflowing with pride over something you have achieved and are about to trumpet to those who would recognize and applaud it, pause for a moment and consider the true source of the talent that propelled your accomplishment.  If you do, you will experience not merely joy and fulfillment, but the humility and gratitude that will irrevocably change the way you view the universe and your place in it.

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