The Courage of Responsibility

Last night we watched the older version of The Magnificent Seven, a western about a group of gunslingers that are hired to protect a Mexican village from thieves. I found that I actually liked it quite a bit better than the newer version. The characters were more interesting, and had actual motivation for how they acted, as opposed to the newer. The plot was also more intricate, and it made me care about the people. There is heroism present, and I love that kind of thing. One other observance my husband and I made was that the main gunfighter in the older version is the same actor that plays Pharaoh in 1956's The Ten Commandments, Yul Brynner. He's a great actor.

There is a scene in the old version of The Magnificent Seven that speaks so much wisdom, I felt the need to write this post, just to have the chance to quote it. To set the scene for you, there are three Mexican boys that are admiring one of the gunfighters, and call their own fathers cowards for not fighting alongside him. The gunfighter replies in this way (after giving one of them a nice wallop on the behind):

"Don't you ever say that again about your fathers, because they are not cowards. You think I am brave because I carry a gun; well, your fathers are much braver because they carry responsibility, for you, your brothers, your sisters, and your mothers. And this responsibility is like a big rock that weighs a ton. It bends and it twists them until finally it buries them under the ground. And there's nobody says they have to do this. They do it because they love you, and because they want to. I have never had this kind of courage. Running a farm, working like a mule every day with no guarantee anything will ever come of it. This is bravery. That's why I never even started anything like that... that's why I never will."

What many young people don't admire is how it takes courage to have responsibilities in life. Life isn't valuable because we spend it in adventures and never tied down. It's worth something when we invest it into something that matters, and the movie alludes to this more than once. It is easy to do your own thing and not have people rely on you. It takes courage to be a family man. 

There are many other great quotes in that movie, so rent it from the library and have a family movie night. We enjoyed it!


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