“YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!” ~ Jack Nickolson
Undoubtedly one of the most memorable lines from A Few Good Men.
The line that struck me the most came in the following scene. The one where Lance Corporal Dawson is leaving the courtroom. He’s been acquitted of murder but is going to be dishonorably discharged from active duty. Dawson is exiting the courtroom when Tom Cruise calls out to him. Cruise looks at the Lance Corporal and says, “No need to wear a badge to have honor”.
How many times in your life have you looked to badges to measure your honor? Accolades to prove your worth?
I run races. My distance is the half marathon. I like the distance. It’s challenging. But I only run races where there are medals awarded. The finishers medal is my badge. Does earning that badge make me any more of a runner?
After high school I went off to college. I was going to be the first member of my family to earn a college degree. I’d have a diploma. I had to finish no matter the cost to call myself a college graduate. Was I any better of a person holding that official piece of paper?
Do you define yourself by a title? Why do we place so much importance on them? Can we not do great work without titles or badges? Can we not be inspiring without accolades bestowed upon us?
Badges are just things. Things you can hold. But they don’t define who you are. The things that truly define us are intangible.
Stop focusing on the badges in life. The big house, the fancy car, the coveted invite. You are worthy without those things. Know that your greatness lies inside of you. In the intangible. Focus on that. Let the light shine in you and be a beacon to inspire others to let their light shine.
They are just badges after all. You can’t take them with you.
What will your legacy be?