Rocky Balboa and Mr. Peabody an Uncomfortable Dialog

As a temp, I work with different people at each gig that I get. It all depends on who calls in sick at what place. One day I might get a month-long job working on the beach with 20 somethings, after that, I might work with 40 somethings for a few days in an office. Every day and every place is different, for the better or for the worse. This last week I had the experience of working with fresh out on their own just after high school people. There was a lot to pick up from their conversation. Mostly that they wanted to be both experienced in the workforce, but also have great financial success as well. As an older person, I know that money grows slowly with time and many many many long roads to have to go down. This concept though is lost on some people because it is so rarely depicted in the media and the film industry at all. With films like "Limitless" which I'm almost certain is an allegory for Adderall abuse and the like, there is this easy come and fast track mentality of skills and success being handed to certain people as a type of blessing. My beef with it is that it is so false to reality. Maybe a few have this free pass to success, but not the majority, which is why I wanted to compare two very contrasting films to explain my point. Let's dive into my evaluation of Rocky Balboa and Mr. Peabody & Sherman.


The 2006 film Rocky Balboa explains the importance of earning your way or being considered a bum or chump from fast-tracked stardom. It's important to make your bones along the way or else no one in your industry would respect you. This is well played out on screen by the antagonist Dixion in the film, who embodies the faults of talent when there is neither respect nor discipline to carry him through a career like the long-suffering protagonist of the franchise Rocky. At the end of the film the two fight it out and Dixion loses because he did not learn all the lessons of being a true champion that Sylvester Stallon's character did. Dixion had the title, but Rocky was considered his better despite this. The message of the story here is that there is no substitute for years of hard work and that not all lessons are easy to take in life. This was the central idea of what I was taught growing up, but it was far different from what I saw in theaters a few years later in a children's film.


It was 2014 and the big blockbuster was Mr. Peabody and Sherman. In it, the film shows the lead character as a "genius" who is both wealthy and from humble beginnings. He has it all, financial means, is respected, and can do anything when he puts his mind to it, too bad it doesn't explain that being a fast learner and honing a skill takes time and energy. The film was a big let down for me, it gave children this impression that some people (or in this case a dog) are just better at doing somethings and that they don't have to work for it, but that there are no struggles during this process for those as lucky as Mr. Peabody. As simplistic as children's movies can be, there was room to allow a few scenes of Mr. Peabody not only overcoming bias but his own struggles to become good at something, which just wasn't there. Talent is half the battle, the rest is lots of diligent work and tedious polishing of knowledge and skills.


The reason as to why this lets down people and gives them a complex that being good at something is only for some people who have a godly ability is because even so-called child geniuses are often abused children whose parents go to extremes to make their talent seem effortless when in fact they are likely torturing their own children to keep up this facade. Beethoven would be one. What the public sees as this accepted belief that there are child geniuses, leaves out the truth that talent does not mean omnipotence and that these intelligent children are being forced to act as if they have years of gathered knowledge even though they have not been on the planet for nearly enough time to feasibly be able to have obtained it.


My conclusion is simple, no one on this planet can just do something at the level of mastery without working for it and if they can, I'd say that it is impossible. I suppose it is important to keep in mind that geniuses have their own struggles too and truthfully most of us are just average. Expecting to be young and the top of a career field would be nice, but it is probably never going to happen, there are too many variables and milestones to address first. I wish the best to everyone out there and I wrote this to let others know not to be too hard on themselves when they feel like they haven't met their personal goals early enough in life. There is nothing but time and process to get through between this point and your dreams, so keep at it, you are probably on the right path and not know it.