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A Grain of Truth

Sometimes I find a grain of truth hiding in the most ridiculous places.  I don’t mean unexpected, I mean truly ridiculous.

Like when I’m talking about my husband’s personality vs. my personality, I always quote Stanley Hudson from The Office.



If you’ve watched The Office for any length of time you probably remember the Stanley/Michael fight.  There is a line hidden in that dialogue that is an absolute gem.  Stanley, in expressing his utter frustration with Michael, says,

“Everything you do, I would do it a different way.”

We are introvert/extrovert, details/dreams, overly-structured/what is structure?   No matter that 0ur end goals are shared, when it comes to methodology, yes.  Exactly, Stanley.

The other grain of truth I think of often – more and more often these days – is from the movie Armageddon.  You remember, the apocalyptic action movie from the 90′s?   (I told you it was ridiculous.)

There is a scene where Owen Wilson (who plays a dingbat named Oscar) is getting strapped into the NASA space shuttle and is rambling to his friend (young Ben Affleck) about how he feels:

Ben Affleck:  ”How you doin’, Oscar?”

Owen Wilson: “Great.  I got that ‘excited/scared’ feeling.  Like 98% excited, 2% scared. Or maybe it’s more – it could be 2 – it could be 98% scared, 2% excited but that’s what makes it so intense.”

This is the perfect commentary on dreaming big dreams.

It is the exact emotion that surges to the top when we take risks: when we stick our necks out for a project, try new things, and undertake tasks that we know are impossible in our own strength.

This is how I feel most days, like an oil driller strapped into a rocket.  Excited, scared, out of my league, but along for the ride.


In what unusual places have you found grains of truth that you keep coming back to?

  • Alex Carolyn

    There’s the line from High Society, when Grace Kelly tells Bing Crosby: “I’m such an unholy mess of a girl.” and he says “Oh, come on, that’s not even good conversation, Tracy.” I always take it to mean “Your self pity is interesting to no one but yourself”, which is a good reminder when I’m wallowing.

    I’m definitely the person who gives people pep talks by relating their problems to an episode of the West Wing or a Princess Diaries book, so I really loved this post!

  • Natalie Eick

    During Big Sean’s rap in the Justin Bieber song As Long As You Love Me, he says, “The grass ain’t always greener on the other side, it’s green where you water it.” That’s truth in the ridiculous for sure.

    • Beth

      Rap songs can surprisingly have great truths in them, mixed in with… everything else:

      “everything I do (yo) I do it big” – always do your best, and don’t be afraid to go above & beyond what’s required. (Wiz Khalifa)
      “go big or go home” – if you’re going to do something, do it well. don’t half-do or not try. (Young Jeezy)
      “never mind what haters say ignore them til they fade away” – don’t let others bring you down if you know what you’re doing is of God’s will. (TI)
      “stop lookin’ at what ya ain’t got, start bein’ thankful for what ya do got” – pretty clear message on coveting vs contentment. (TI-same song)
      “all I do is win” – the power of positive thinking. if you dwell on positive outcomes, they’re more likely to come true, and vice versa. (DJ Khaled)
      “if you had one shot… would you capture it or just let it slip?” work hard and go after your goals. don’t let opportunities pass you by because of fear (of failure, rejection…) (Eminem)

      • Beth

        Just to clarify – I’m not exalting all rap as true, wise, or good. There are many negative messages in they genre (as with any genre), and some of these lyrics are pulled from songs with negative messages as well. I’m just saying that there is truth in some random places. :)

  • B

    My entire marriage philosophy came from the movie “Object of My Affection” (Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd- not exactly promoting a “traditional” view of marriage and relationships!) I do agree with Jennifer’s character, however unromantic it may sound, that you “have to pick one person and make it work.”