Hacksaw Ridge gets an automatic promotion into the list of my top ten favorite movies. Can’t say I could mindlessly tell you all the others (apart from The Lord of the Rings trilogy of course), but I really rate it that highly. That’s the point.
My life strongly revolves around values; core values, and for this reason, it was easy for Desmond Doss; the main character of the story, a man who believed and stood for what he believed in to catch my fancy, and earn my respect.
Desmond was a man who enlisted in the army and yet would not touch a gun. His reluctance to touch a gun reeked of self-righteousness to the fellas he would go to war with. I personally got a bit irritated at a point. I mean, no one has asked you to shoot, simply handle the gun, pass the rifle tests, and then continue work as the medic you wish to sign up for. Can’t be that hard. But apparently for him it was. It was important to him that he did not back down. And it was, not because touching the gun would be a sin (in the strictest terms) but he had resolved within himself not to take a life, and a refusal to handle a gun was the first step to ensuring that became a reality.
To say the least, he was ridiculed severally, but he stood his ground and in the end was the most useful man in battle, dragging the wounded to safety without body-armour, without being flanked by his fellow soldiers; men who had since retreated in the face of an impossible situation.
As the movie went on, I was ashamed of my earlier irritation, especially as I could count a number of instances in which I have had to seem foolish (to friends, to onlookers) for standing by the values I believe in. Worthy virtues I have come to hold dear. I have to stress at this point that I do not make to boast of my abilities, neither am I (nor will be) under any illusions that I am the model man, but I think it necessary that every man fight diligently for the beliefs that are the pillars of his life, because without those beliefs, there is no structure, and when there is no structure, man is but a joke.
I have found lessons in my interactions, revised submissions (revised as a result of receiving fresh instruction/advice on why said submissions aren’t the best I could have), and in my daily motions these past few months, and I have to say the resolve to do even better and be better is a backpack I sling over my shoulders daily.
If I do not have useful values,
If I do not mind, guard and live diligently said values,
Why should I think I can make a difference,
How can I be an example?
How can my life be useful to me, and then to another?