‘Who Will Survive And What Will Be Left Of Them’
This is the second time a OTH quote got me to thinking and I once again wished to share it with you:
Whitey to Lucas:
‘When my wife died, things got pretty dark there for a while. Nobody could talk to me. And then, one of my former players, the kid may be the worst player I ever coached, waded into that darkness and pulled me to safety. That kid’s name was Keith Scott. He said, “Coach, I… I know you want some answers, but what is the right answer? Because there is no answer. There’s just life. Just life.” Lucas, be the man that Keith taught you to be. Anything less would make this a much greater tragedy than it already is.’
This episode of One Tree Hill takes place right after a high school shooting. Now, I don’t want this post to be about politics or current events, but I’m sure you can figure out why it came to mind now. Lucas Scott, our main protagonist, lost his blood uncle, Keith, in the tragedy. Now Keith was more than simply a relative to Lucas; he’s his mentor, his hero, his father figure, his balance. For even though Lucas has a strong role model in his mother, his love for her makes him too close to her, for her to be his hero in this way. That sounds confusing, but please bare with me. You see, I believe that there are some people we are so close to, people who we love so unconditionally, that not only do we turn a blind eye to their faults, but we take for granted their virtues. Sometimes these people are parents, sometimes they are not.
This could easily turn into a Lucas Scott character study, but that’s not what this post is about, either. It’s about integrity and where we find it.
What is it and do I have it? With all my failings and fears, I think about virtues like integrity and honor a lot. I think about… how I’m not who I should be, who I wanted to be, who I’d like to think my grandfather taught me to be. He was a great man. He was my hero and I didn’t get nearly enough time with him. Maybe with more, I would’ve better learned the strength he carried so naturally about himself.
I want to be the sort of person he was so effortlessly; the kind that even if someone spoke ill of? No one would believe, because that individual had lived so well. So nobly. So honorably. With integrity. I agree with Whitey: the greatest tragedy isn’t losing someone we love; it’s in wasting the lessons they taught us. They say you never lose someone if you carry their memory around in your heart. I think whomever these ‘they’ people are, that they missed the point and were letting everyone off too easy. Everything worth having takes an astronomical amount of work and I think this is no different. I think the only way to not forever lose the people who have died in our lives is to actively live by the lessons they taught us. Because aren’t those the people we most wish to remember? The ones who changed us. The ones who made us better.
I guess I should probably explain why exactly I’m posting this now, current events aside; after all, I re-watched this series months ago and waited. Well, partially I waited because, let’s be honest, I’m quite lazy. The procrastination is strong in me. But also because, well, talking about my grandfather is personal and I mostly like to keep his wisdom to myself. It’s kind of selfish, but I think everyone gets a bit like that when hoarding the memories they consider sacred.
But I want to actively live the lessons he taught me. He showed me it was okay to be afraid, it just wasn’t okay to stay that way. This whole book thing has me terrified. But I won’t let that stop me from pushing forward. Maybe this book sucks. And that’s okay. There will be more, because I know me, and I will always write. So I’m afraid right now. But I won’t stay that way. I won’t live my life that way. I only get one life and since I honestly believe there’s nothing after this, I have been remarkably wasteful and ungrateful in not doing all I can to make it amazing.
Living by the morals and principles I see in those I respect most. Acknowledging fear and choosing to be brave anyway. Honoring the dead by being strong for them, because of them. Accepting tragedy without letting it tear down even more than it has a right to claim.
Wow. All this from a teen drama from the CW?? Damn, methinks I may think too much!
PS: If you were wondering about the first OTH quote I pondered, it can be found here.