July| Vol. 22 No. 8.02 | Christian's Chronicles © 2015 – All rights reserved.
Sure, there’s corruption basically everywhere, oppression and murder in, oh, Ukraine, Venezuela, Lybia, Syria, Sudan, and too many places to name, and who knows what else, but what’s really important is:
And the only news outlet that knows this is NPR, who covered the story of the great polar bear flip-flop, which explains why photographs allegedly depicting a polar bear playing with a dog in the wild were perceived with disbelief and anger 13 years ago, but the same pictures were LOVED by contemporary audiences. What changed? Well, it was not polar bears, or the pictures. I could never say it as well as Rocky Balboa:
“I guess what I’m trying to say is, if I can change, and you can change, everybody can change!”
That, of course, was a quote from the fourth movie in the Rocky franchise, which not only proved to be an enormous success at the box office, but it also inspired people across the globe to rise to challenges once thought insurmountable.
Experts believe that Rocky IV was a major catalyst that led to the collapse of the Eastern Bloc only a few years after it was released in theaters. This should surprise no one. The Rocky movies were tailor-made to change the world exactly in the way described in the above quote. After all, Rocky Balboa battled against unbeatable odds almost every time as he faced the likes of Apollo Creed, Clubber Lang, Thunderlips, and Ivan Drago with nothing more than his courage in his arsenal. No wonder these movies provided enough inspiration to tear down the wall that even President Reagan could not inspire Mr. Gorbachev to tear down, despite Reagan’s acting credentials. Rocky, after all, so aptly demonstrates what is possible to achieve in free societies with hard work and perseverance precisely because, as we all know, it is a true story based on the life of Rocky Balboa.
Rocky was not born into fame and fortune, but he earned both by literally fighting for it. From nothing, he rose to become a champion, first in the boxing ring, then on film after the biographical documentaries Rocky, Rocky II, Rocky III, and Rocky IV were released. Rocky taught us about perspective. He refused to see himself as a loser, and he refused to give up. He never resorted to using performance enhancing drugs, yet he prevailed over opponents who did. He refused to see his adversaries as unbeatable. He refused to believe that the people of the Eastern Bloc could not change.
Perhaps the people we see as ‘enemies’ or even simply as ‘different’ from us are just polar bears waiting to play with the happy puppies that we are. Surely the true-life documentaries about Rocky Balboa’s life, and the way they changed the world are proof of this.
If only there were award shows to honor the men and women who bring these inspirational stories to life. They teach us wisdom, and allow us to see that polar bears are not the vicious creatures we take them to be. I really don’t think we honor them enough for the important work that they do. Let us thank the movie industry, and also the real life heroes like Rocky Balboa, whose actual life was made into such great movies that they changed the world. Thank you for helping us see polar bears for what they truly are: dog-friendly, cola-loving, playful consumers, just like us!