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Thankfully, you or I will probably never have to put a fraction of our asses on the line for what we believe in, or pay the price that Mandela did. This is perhaps one of the reasons why millions of people all over the world hold the man in such high regard. It is also the reason his legacy will also be met with acrimony.
What, you don't think John Wilkes Booth has fans who are still breathing? They send me letters. From 11/02/13:
"Come on man, Booth was a hero, Lincoln was a freak!!! Don't be so blind. I used to really like you."
Again, the point is made. No matter what you accomplish or get put through, there will always be someone there to remind you that you're not all that much. They're right, you know.
So what do you do about that? The next thing. And then the next, and so on. If criticism, good, bad or otherwise, is inevitable, that tells you all you need to know about how much time to spend dwelling on it.
As monumental as Mandela was, mortality did the same thing to him that it's going to do to you and me. If anything, Mandela's life is a lesson that there is not one bloody second to be wasted. The idea of "killing time" is repellent to me. You will never kill time -- it kills you.
Speaking for myself, I am not all that interested in what I did, unless I can learn from the countless mistakes I made. I am only interested in what I am doing and what I plan to do next. That's it -- that's what I live for. Doing is the greatest motivator and antidepressant in my arsenal to kick my ass off the couch.
This no-budget film I am currently working on is completely interesting to me, and working to exhaustion on it is like winning the lottery. We are the Thor Heyerdahl gang, building our own Kon-Tiki and dragging it to the sea!
The film's reception is of little importance to me. If I had to live my life in anticipation of what others thought of me, little would get done.
We are doing this, and this is what we are doing. We roar in the totality of that.
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