The Wisdom of Rocky

I was raised by a wise man. That man was Rocky Balboa, the Italian Stallion

OK, not really. But my dad did quote Rocky far more frequently than you’d believe. So much, that my brother suggested (OK, “dared” or “challenged” would be better words) me to use it as a blog topic  The good news is that there is a surprising amount of wisdom in a bunch of movies about a boxer who used to be a good-hearted thug who picked up protection money. What?  You’re not buying it?  Let’s have a look.

Rocky III
“Friends don’t owe!  They do because the wanna do.”
If that’s not a recipe for how to treat the people you care about, I don’t know what is. Rocky’s best friend, Paulie, was a bit jealous of Rocky’s success and his own lack of it. Paulie told Rocky that he owed him because of everything he’d helped with over the years. I’m sure that Paulie hadn’t helped with any expected return at the time. What we have here is a case where two friends reminded each other that they help out because they care.  The lessen here is to help out those close to you. If they’re successful, don’t be jealous. Feel joy for them even when your own spirits are down. It’ll make you feel better about them and yourself. It may even you help out in the end. After all, Rocky gave Paulie a job after that talk.

Friends don't owe.
Friends with challenges. Friends don’t owe…

Rocky II
“Yo, Adrian! I DID IT!”
Rocky had just beaten Apollo Creed in a second blockbuster fight. The first thing he thought of was family. Actually, at the end of the first movie, Rocky pretty much ignored the announcement of his split-decision loss in a stunning exchange that went something like “Rocky! – Adrian! – Rocky! – Adrian!” Here we have a protagonist who put family over the greatest emotional and physical feats of his life. Family comes first and should be a part of your successes and failures.
Rocky and Adrian

“If I can change, and you can change, everybody can change!”
This one was at the end of Rocky IV when Rocky defeats Drago. Drago who killed his friend Apollo and represented the USSR – on Soviet turf. It certainly wasn’t a friendly crowd to start. But as our hero showed guts and determination, they changed and Rocky’s feelings toward them did as well. Don’t write off individuals or entire groups, particularly if you’ve got no real reason to hate them as people. They can always earn your respect. You should always look to earn others’ respect as well. Be ready for the chance to prove yourself worthy through effort and even those who may not like you will have to respect you.

Everyone can change.
Everyone can change.

This gem comes from Rocky III when Apollo is training Rocky to come back against Mr. T. Rocky is beaten, dejected, and ready to quit. Maybe we will train tomorrow. Then again, maybe we won’t. Apollo gets in his face and won’t let him give up. The moral here is twofold. First, when you have a task that has to be done, keep in the game and work at it. Second, when a friend is down, help them up and remind them of what they can accomplish.
Rocky and Apollo

Lastly, my dad always told me  “This guy will kill you to death in three rounds” but he didn’t mean it 😉

Yo and Boys

Surprised you, didn’t I?  You can find good advice even in the most unlikely and cheesy of places.


9 thoughts on “The Wisdom of Rocky

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