“Who’s going to do it? You? You Lieutenant Weinberg? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom.”
You might recognize that quote from Colonel Nathan R. Jessup, Commanding Officer Marine Ground Forces, Guantanamo Bay Cuba from the Movie A Few Good Men.
If you don’t recognize that quote, you should absolutely watch that movie tonight.
That movie has a lot of really great quotes. Another (that has nothing to do with this post):
“I have two books at my bedside, Lieutenant, the Marine Corps Code of Conduct and the King James Bible. The only proper authorities I’m aware of are my commanding officer, Colonel Nathan R. Jessup and the Lord our God.
But I was thinking about that quote the other day, for no good reason, and it struck me that this, perhaps, is a question that we should be asking ourselves more often. If we really want to enjoy that process, we should absolutely ask it in the voice of Jack Nicholson as Colonel Nathan R. Jessup.
“Who’s going to do it?”
Try it. By yourself. Nobody has to know.
So often in my conversations and interactions with people that I know or people that I work with, or people that I overhear in the gym, I have the privilege of hearing complaints about the way things are, or the way things are going for them, or the way life is.
And it’s generally bad. Or awful. Or everyone is against them. Or everyone is in their way of being great, or achieving their dreams.
It’s one big terrible conspiracy.
And the really tough pill to swallow, is that I am like that too sometimes. It’s easy to allow situations to frustrate me, and act as if I’m being hemmed in and handcuffed by the actions and decisions of others.
Or I sit around and talk about what I want, someday. Or I dream up great things, and then put them on the shelf, where it’s easy. They look good there.
They are impressive there too, up on the shelf. Safe, and easy to show off.
People can say things like:
“Oh, that would be cool”
“That’s a neat idea”
“That sounds great”
And I can puff out my chest, and smile, and say, “Yeah, it does doesn’t it”. Without ever really doing anything at all.
But that’s a whole bunch of crap. And completely useless.
My wife and I have been working on getting her to a part time working situation for the last six years. I can’t say that we’ve had some laser focus, and saved every dime, and lived on bread and water to make it happen, but it has been something that has been top of mind since Hope was born. We never had a great road map, or made every decision precisely, but we constantly consider this as we weighed our personal and professional future. And we made it, we think.
She hasn’t started receiving half pay yet, so, this blog may be going to a subscription style service soon. And with so few readers, the fee will be steep. Thanks in advance for you continued support.
And there are more things we hope to do, and more challenges we hope to tackle, for our relationship, our personal goals, and our family.
Along the way, I’ve had help. This has come in the form of gifts, encouragement, spiritual and emotional support. I don’t want to discredit the support I’ve received. It’s been significant.
But at the end of the day, when I am frustrated, or confused, or uncertain. When I have a decision to make. When I have to take the first step, it falls on me (or us) to do so.
This quote rings true:
“Who’s going to do it? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom.”
We, you and I, have a great responsibility. Greater, than sometimes, we can possibly fathom.
As a husband and father, I feel this daily in regards to my son, my daughter, and my wife.
And I have a great responsibility to myself as well.
Nobody is going to hand me my dreams. No one is going to gift my wife the opportunity to work part time. No one is going to “discover” me, and decide that the business that I hope to build is brilliant, and offer to bankroll my endeavors.
Those things on my shelf that sound so great aren’t going to jump down one day and come to life on their own. This isn’t Toy Story.
So who’s going to do it?
It ain’t Lieutenant Weinberg.
If you’ve played your cards right along the way, you’ll have some help. If you are a person of faith, your beliefs tell you that the Lord is with you. Sometimes, he may just move the mountain all on his own, and work a miracle in your life. I believe that to be true.
But if you (and I) want those things we say we want. If we value those things we say we value. If we have a place we hope to get to, someday. Who’s going to do it?
Who’s going to raise your kids to love and strive and be resilient and work hard and be faithful?
Who’s going to show your wife that you love her, unconditionally?
Who’s going to help that kid, that you keep saying needs help?
Who’s going to be a light in that place that you know needs to see some light?
Who’s going to get you in the shape you want to be in?
Who’s going to prepare you for the new job that you desire?
Who’s going to help you live the life that you so desperately crave?
You have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom.
And I’m pulling for you.