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We need a montage

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“Dirty Dancing,” “Footloose,” “The Karate Kid” and every “Rocky” movie contain the genius technique of using a montage to show improvement of skills over an abbreviated passage of time. Imagine the infinite possibilities that would unfold if we too could montage our way through life and history.

Baby in “Dirty Dancing” was a horrible, awkward dancer at the beginning of the movie, but with the guidance of Patrick Swayze and a montage that involved dancing in forests, studios and bridges, Baby turns status in five minutes.

How incredible it would be if we could hit the fast forward button on new skills. Would you like to play the piano? Speak another language? Obtain a PhD.? It’s time for a montage!

Rolling into work with a case of the Mondays? Montage; your day is over!

It’s an amazing idea, and one I would love to apply to bigger issues as well.

Wouldn’t it be incredible if we all could work together in a harmonious and civilized way? Maybe if we all went through a montage we could come out on the other end with mutually beneficial solutions and handshakes galore.

Alas, the concept of a montage as a method to solve world issues is quite ridiculous.

Novelist Susan Elizabeth Phillips said anything worth having is worth fighting for, and I agree, albeit a tad begrudgingly.

If we fast forward through challenging times that require perseverance and determination, we are skipping over true grit that can define a lifetime and robbing ourselves of the satisfaction that comes with overcoming obstacles.

As much as I would love a good montage to make the dark days go away and turn back into sunshine and rainbows, that’s not real life.

Real life is doing the hard things over and over again until one day you look around and think “Wow, I really like who I am and this life I have created.”

Baby, Ren McCormack, Daniel-san, and Rocky all had that desire in common.

It starts with a belief that you too can do hard things. It’s not going to be easy, but it will be worth it. We cannot hit the fast forward button and speed through to the other side, but it’s the time in the middle that defines who we are.

No, we don’t need a montage. We need the ups, the downs and the back and forths. That’s the only way we get the life we want: a life worth fighting for.