Archive for November, 2015

“Bridge of Spies” Offers a Lesson for Life

Ok, so “Bridge of Spies” is a movie. You often hear quotes that have become a part of the fabric of society. But this, in my view, is different. Further, the story is based in fact.

Actually this is two stories. First is that of Rudolf Abel who was a Soviet spy caught by the government and put on trial for his crimes. Next is Francis Gary Powers who, while flying a reconnaissance mission over the Soviet Union is shot down, captured and tried as a U.S. spy. The two stories come together around an attorney, James B. Donovan, who is first asked to defend Abel and later asked to negotiate a trade of Abel for Powers.

While the intrigue and characters are fascinating, the story stopped me cold as one scene was played out. Donovan is in a prison room with Abel. In the conversation about the case, Abel gains confidence in Donovan based on the questions Donovan was asking Abel as well as Donovan’s demeanor. But then Donovan looks at Abel and askes, “Aren’t you worried?” Abel paused and then asked, “Would it help?”

That simple line within that context rang in my head as I thought of all the people that we meet (as well as ourselves) who worry about their situation and what they are facing in life. But then if we could look at the situation and the anxiety that is felt with a simple question (Does it help?) how much could life change?

Fear and worry are two of the most powerful and disabling of emotions. When they are dominant it is like being trapped and you are unable to escape. Movement, discussion and any manner of progress is taken away by that emotionally frozen state. Yet to ask, “Would it help?” starts to free us of that fear. Does it help to be afraid? Does it help to worry? Does it help to hesitate? Does it help to not take action?

In most cases, the answer is a resounding “No!”

So then what is the next question after “Would it help?” Perhaps it is not so much a question as it is a statement. That statement might be “Next!” What is the next thing, project, task, objective, class…then taking that step forward. Even if that step ends with stumbling, the movement is typically still forward. It requires us to pick ourselves up and move. Then to answer that question (“Would it help?), when considering taking the next step, the answers becomes “Yes!” And so progress is made.


By: Armand & Robbin D’Alo