Today I saw the movie “Unbroken.” And as the last preview faded to black, and the lights dimmed, a familiar five word phrase filled the center of the screen.
“Based on a true story”
It’s a tagline found on posters for some of the most inspirational movies ever made. Spoken words of wisdom are written into scripts and then re-spoken to ripple their inspiration throughout the masses. Some tell stories about sports: how a team, player or coach rose to the occasion and sparked a flame where none thought possible. Others speak of war and the individuals that make unimaginable sacrifices to better the lives of others. And still others touch on disease and the beasts and bravery that are born in their wake.
These stories are important to tell and even more important to hear because in every story, no matter the setting, the lesson remains the same. These heroes, these legends whose hearts beat inspiration into our own, had likely heard the stories we’ve heard and seen the movies we’ve seen. They had their own heroes and their own inspirations and desires to change their world. But unlike the characters they admired and the myths they believed, they were real. They were real, ordinary people, just like you and me, that brought their own legacy to life, perhaps without even meaning to.
Seeing the movie only deepened my belief that we all born with the chance to be great, even if we don’t know it or don’t see it yet. We are not made to be great in the same ways or at the same time, and we should not measure our greatness against that of others. Being great in the eyes of even a single person, is still a greatness to aspire to.
So be great. Write your own true story and inspire someone, even if that someone is just you. You don’t have to buy a ticket to see your own life lived to the fullest.