Tuesday, August 4, 2009

You Gotta Believe in Something

Nene recently posted a blog about movie quotes. Later on, after reading her blog, I was thinking of the predicament that I'm currently in and after thought led to thought, a movie quote popped into my head: "Still, you gotta believe in something." The quote, spoken by the great Alan Arkin in the movie, "13 Conversations About One Thing" is something I've never written down even though I have a personal book of my own where I keep my favorite quotes. I have also only seen this movie once. I remember hardly anything about it. I didn't even think it was that great of a movie. But for some reason this quote has always stuck with me.

It is curious that something so insignificant can come to mean so much to a person. Throughout my life, I've often pondered why people are the way they are, why they do the things they do and more importantly, why I'm the way I am. It's a strain of thought that never has an end because it has no answer. And yet, this quote always comes back to me, "You gotta believe in something."

The more I think about it, the more powerful the statement becomes. Fear can cripple a person and there are different kinds. There's the fear that you could die at any moment. There's the fear that you're doing something that you're not supposed. And there's the fear that you're turning into somebody you never wanted to be. I'm guilty of that one. Fear is not always something that suddenly grabs you. Sometimes it's so quiet that you don't even notice it until you realize you're trapped by it. What can you do? How do you motivate yourself? Well, my friends, you gotta believe in something. Whether it's a religion, a belief in a lifelong dream you have, a belief that the world's gonna end in three years, a belief that money's the key to happiness, a belief in the Loch Ness monster, or just believing in yourself, the only thing you can do is believe in something so strongly that your fear is no longer a problem. You replace your fear with something much more important and it doesn't mean that you're no longer afraid, just that you've realized that you can't waste any more time because your belief is so strong it has led you to action.

In the movie, the quote is nothing significant to the rest of the film. It is spoken simply, without fanfare. I don't remember exactly what Arkin was talking about but I'm pretty sure he was talking about an old friend of his who had found some crazy religion and after ridiculing him and poking fun at his friend, he has the simple realization, "Still, you gotta believe in something." It's a quote I think I will contemplate for the rest of my life. I'm at least going to put it into my quote book.


Nene said...

A favorite quote from a song:

"You get mad, you get strong,
Wipe your hands, shake it off,
Then you Stand." (Rascal Flats)

If you know what you want to do,
or what you've got to do, go do it.

Amber said...

this reminds me of the song "you gotta stand for something, or you'll fall for anything" i always liked that one.