Inspiration comes from many places, movies have had a strong impact in my life. I don’t go around imitating things I see on the screen… Anymore. However, Every now and then a quote will come from a movie and I have incorporated it into my life is philosophy.
Actually two of my favorite quotes came from this movie. This movie starred two great actors, Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman. The United States was thrust into a conflict with Russia. A conflict that could have easily become World War III. Gene Hackman is Captain Frank Ramsey of the submarine the U.S.S Alabama. Denzel Washington Portrayed the new executive officer/second in command Lt. Commander Ron Hunter. The first quote came early in the movie just before the submarine submerged. Cpt. Ramsey handed Lt. Commander Hunter a cigar. During their discussion the captain was establishing his expectations. He then stated “I can’t save asses and I won’t abide kiss asses.”
That quote speaks volumes. When you’re in a leadership role, the worst thing a leader can do is throw his people under the bus to protect themselves. A leader should have the courage make a decision and standby it regardless of the outcome. He should also deliver orders from his upper management and present it as it as if it was his own decision, regardless to how unpopular it will be with his/her workers. Furthermore, a leader shouldn’t be a “yes man/woman”. If you know that something is not in the best interest of your people or the operation, you should speak up. When the shoe drops and the big boss learns that the outcome could have been different if you had opened your mouth, your butt is in the wringer, unless you successfully throw someone under the bus. Of course then your people will see you a kiss ass AND a save ass.
The second quote occurs a short time later. A fire breaks out in the galley. Lt. Commander Hunter goes to assist. During the fire, Capt. Ramsey initiates a firing drill. During the drill, Hunter continuously interrupts the Captain, insisting they attend to the fire and cancel the drill. As a result of the fire, one of the cooks has a heart attack and dies. Ramsey takes Hunter to his stateroom for a sit-down during which he says”
Those sailors out there are just boys… boys who are training to do a terrible and unthinkable thing, and if that ever occurs the only reassurance they’ll have that they’re doing the proper thing is gonna derive from their unqualified belief in the unified chain of command. That means we don’t question each other’s motives in front of the crew. It means we don’t undermine each other. It means in a missile drill, they hear your voice right after mine, without hesitation…
This quote, should be taken to heart by parents. Parents should be united in front of their children. When one parent gives the order, the other repeats it. If there is a problem, it should be worked out, when you’re not in their presence. That is the only to maintain a sound home. When children learn that one and be pitted against the other, disaster lurks.
We’ve all seen the first installment of the sage in which Police Lieutenant John McClain is always in the wrong place at the wrong time. My favorite from the movie came from Sgt. Al Powell portrayed by Reginald Vel Johnson. Powell was the first officer on the scene and had great insight on the situation. When the Deputy Police Chief Dewayne Robinson makes the scene, he goes into been there, done that, I know it all mode. He completely disregards Powell and his assessment. Robinson decides to send in the SWAT team. They turned on huge spotlights to blind the terrorist. When the lights came on, gunfire erupted. The know- it-all SWAT commander proclaimed, “It’s panic fire.” Powell responded, “They’re shooting at the lights.” At point the spotlights started blowing out. The Robinson the states as if he made a discovery, “They’re shooting at the lights.”
No one likes to hear,” I told you so”. Nevertheless, many times in my careers, I have forewarned superiors of things that were on the horizon. When my warnings come into fruition and they were disregarded, I will state,” They’re shooting at the lights.” until now, no one understood why I said that.
The Karate Kid II
Our beloved Mr. Myagi portrayed by the late Pat Morita, had so many insightful quotes. My most favorite quote came when he told Daniel, “From the very first karate lesson… Best way to avoid punch, no be there.”
Simply put, don’t walk into bad situations. Many times, we know that if we go somewhere, odds are something bad will happen. Whether it’s Beale Street, a club, or going to your grandmother’s house knowing that your crack head cousin who stole your watch will be there. It’s just best to avoid the situation.
There’s really only one memorable quote in this movie in which Kevin Costner portrayed the legendary character. Dodge City, was lawless. Wyatt and his crew walk into a rowdy bar. He fires one round from his shotgun and announces, “My name is Wyatt Earp… It all ends now.”
The foundation of my life’s philosophy is to be part of the solution not the problem. When you see that there is a problem at hand, take control and put it to bed. Too much time is spent on things that are allowed to fester and keep going. We really need a Wyatt Earp in Memphis. Not just for the crime problems we have. We need to put an end to silly decisions by our governing body, wasteful spending, and missed opportunities.
These are a few of my most favorite things. Next time, I’ll talk about my favorite movies. I’m talking about movies that no matter what, I will watch. Feel free to share your favorite quotes.