Are you an idiot or something?

There is one word that I hate more than any other. The crazy thing is that I use the word. Maybe even daily. It’s not that I like to say it or anything, but sometimes it just seems to express my frustration, anger or confusion. The word is “stupid.” There is a reason I hate the word, but I’ll get into that later.

How can you not love the character Rocky? He’s my fourth favourite character of all time (And yes, I do have a list of my favourite movie characters. There are 35 on the list.). I love how he is so underestimated by everyone. It’s not just his opponent who underestimates him; his friends and loved ones appear to as well. It seems like he accepts that people do that, but doesn’t accept it himself. At least he doesn’t want to. He wants to prove to himself and to anyone who cares to take notice that he can “go the distance.” He will prove that he is not a bum. That he matters.

His overcoming this to me is spectacular considering how hard it is to step up to an insurmountable challenge when you know that people see you as “dumb,” let alone worthless. He even mocks it a bit with his memorable way of asking Adrian out: “I think we make a real sharp couple of coconuts — I’m dumb, you’re shy, whaddaya think, huh?”

The reason I hate the word stupid is simple, and you will likely relate to this. I have always hated being called stupid and been scared to death that others might think that I was. And the reason why I think you’d relate is because we all seem to be fearful of this. I don’t need to prove to anyone that I’m smart, but when I make a mistake I call myself an idiot in my head. When I trip over my feet I look around to see if anyone was looking. When someone tells me something I already know it’s almost unbearable to hold back the urge to report to them that I, indeed, did know that.

Sometimes I honestly do feel stupid. Sometimes I believe others think I am too. Sometimes I bring to memory the words I’ve heard others say as if it’s some kind of “exhibit A” for a case that must be made. But then I think of not only Rocky, but another beloved movie character. Forrest Gump. (He’s #16, in case you were wondering.) I was just watching this movie tonight and so many times I feel emotional watching Forrest deal with this same issue. His courage and centeredness inspire me. When he asks Jenny that question at the end of the movie (SPOILER ALERT: If you click on “that question” you will find out what it was) I can hardly contain myself. He knows he is different and even repeats “I’m not a smart man,” when talking with people because he knows they write him off this way.

People don’t think I’m as stupid as I think they do. As I’m sure you already know (See what I did there?) this is true for you too. I will prove myself in life, but I’ll do it for me and for those I love. I can’t, and must not, do it for who may or may not see me as a sharp coconut.

Congratulations Rocky. This is your week.

And the Oscar goes too…

Best Actress: Audrey Hepburn. So sweet and cute. The more I get to know my grandmother and the more I watch this actress the more I see their similarities.

Best Actor: WALL-E. I realize he’s not real, but I just love that guy! I seem to remember a comparison made between him and Rocky…

Best Quote: Other than the words above that Rocky uttered, the following is a pretty great one: “Stupid is as stupid does.” — Forrest Gump

I won’t bore you with the full 35-name list, but here is my top ten favourite movie characters of all time (so far anyway):

15. Kermit the Frog 7. Daniel Plainview (There Will Be Blood)
14. Austin Powers 6. Ron Burgundy (Anchorman)
13. Han Solo 5. Guido Orefice (Life is Beautiful)
12. Bill “the Butcher” Cutting (Gangs of New York) 4. Rocky
11. The Joker (The Dark Knight) 3. The Little Tramp (Charlie Chaplin character)
10. Nacho Libre 2. Dr. Evil
9. Cousin Eddie (NL Christmas Vacation) 1. Darth Vader
8. Lloyd Christmas (Dumb and Dumber)

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