Often, as most of us do, as we wade through more of life’s unexpected chores, we may boohoo the happening as being undeserved, unwarranted, and even unfair. “Why me Lord, oh why me?” is often murmured to one’s self. Is there a person out there who hasn’t had a comparable inner debate at one time or another? I doubt it. If we live and breath, there will always occur a “deal with it” moment on the horizon. The undeserved, the unwarranted, and even the unfair are always just around the corner, seemingly a happening for each of us; and for those in this no business (no biz) like our business world, our own special and regular dose of destiny.
How to cope and not be a gloomy mope? How to stay pleased and at ease, all the time knowing that up tight will lose the fight; knowing being bright and sunny is what your pending audition calls for? Regardless of what our call in our no biz life, we are expected to be up and bright. No illnesses for our families or us; no back taxes; no kids needing braces; and certainly roofs that leak, brakes that squeak, neighbors who freak; and a parent who has become your child.
All these are part of life’s eternal bestowal. But the bottom line, as I see it, is how lucky I am to be alive and able to cope. I say the words every night, and every day. Yesterday, I lost a directing job many of my colleagues would equally have prized. But, in reflection, and of course after I had murmured under my breath a couple of appropriate expletives, I said, “Okay then. Been there, done that. Boy did they blow it!” I have my wife, and we’re both healthy, and only on rare occasions considered to be cantankerous. (Actually I’m the one they consider cantankerous.)
What stimulated my offering these words is simply the number of questions I’m constantly getting from actors, asking me how I always seem to be smiling and having it together. The fact is, what the actors see is my game face. I want them to do the best they can. My job is to be a form of inspiration, not a driving force cultivating hopeless desperation. But inside, at any given time, I too am experiencing some of the aforementioned bumps in the road.
So, what does “da harv” do to bolster his own spirits? I follow what I grew up with; as directed by my father, I make it a point to regularly count my blessings. My dad used to say, “There by the grace of God, go I.” When I was a very young man, I said my dad’s words, but I began to really feel their meaning more and more as life’s pressures marred my way. Dad also encouraged me to read about the great leaders of the world; what made them great, and the most dominant and underlying ability to display and build confidence in others. His favorite man of history became mine. My problems were miniscule compared to his. He had an entire world dependant on his stamina and inspiration.
What follows are the words penned by the greatest leader and statesman, in my estimation, of all time. I doubt if any other human being ever answered his country’s, and the world’s call more propitiously than Winston Churchill; the World War II prime minister of Great Britain. Arguably, without him our cherished United States of America would not and could not exist the way we know it today.
Perhaps Sir Winston can provide you with the same wisdom I was able to glean:
“It may be that the most glorious chapters of our history are yet to be written. Indeed, the very problems and dangers that encompass us and our country ought to make Englishmen and women of this generation glad to be here at such a time. We ought to rejoice at the responsibilities with which destiny has honoured us, and be proud that we are guardians of our country in an age when her life is at stake.”
– Winston Spencer Churchill, April 1933