One of the popular tropes in movies is the one where a masterful genius is shown to be the arch-villain up until the end when we learn that there is someone in the shadows pulling his strings. For the entire hour and a half you watch this master of strategy put the hero on his/her toes and you grow a bit of admiration for him/her. But what happens when the big reveal is shown and you learn that this “master” is nothing more than a deadly marionette? You feel disappointed with the movie and you lose respect for the villain.
One of the most popular villains to lose my respect was Bane from The Dark Knight Rises. Bane could fight, he could deliver a powerful speech and he was always a step ahead of Bruce Wayne. Bane had an ideology and carried out his plans like an ace to the point where even the brilliant Batman could not stop him, but we learn deep into the film that he was not the man he appeared to be. Bane, like many others was merely a puppet for the most unimpressive puppet master.
In life, we have our heroes and people we admire for various reasons and we think of them as leaders. We assume that their drive comes from a genuine place or foundation, and we make ourselves believe that they are special. Finding out that one of these titans is merely a puppet for a lover, a parent, or an organization drives our feelings completely the other way and it isn’t unlike the way I felt when I learned that Bane was not the top of the food chain.
Be Your Own Person!
Some of you reading are those people that I described in the former paragraph because you have done and continue to do things that impress others in your life beyond measure. But are your goals in life truly your own, and can you say that your ambition is one that comes from the heart? We disappoint the people who look up to us when we allow the clubs, and organizations we join to turn us into empty zealots. It is one thing to own the teachings of another man, but it is something completely different when we do it to impress someone else.
People who pretend to be someone else because their lover urged them to do so, and mimes that copy another person’s lifestyle in order to get a date are people who seem driven to an outsider but are less than meets the eye. We all have varying degrees of strengths when it comes to our motivation but respect does not come with tap dancing for coins.
The only time it is perceived that a puppet is respectable is if the puppet master is so impressive that even a puppet of his/hers is an enviable position. In the case of Bane, the person pulling his strings was a character that made sense for his reality, but was not impressive enough for us to accept as his master. Darth Vader being a puppet to The Emperor was still an impressive villain because we looked at The Emperor as having power beyond measure.
Are your motivations of your own divining, or is someone feeding you the data and forcing you to follow it? If we were to meet your puppet master would he/she impress us, or will we turn to you and wonder why you follow? If you are concerned with respect, then you will find that this too is important to those who may look up to you. Be your own person, and take control of your life.
Do not do it because the shorty looking up to you will stay devoted, but do it because it is right for you and your life. Bane lived in pain and ascended to greatness but in the end he died in dishonor. Choose how you want to live and remember that with respect comes great responsibility.See some words or phrases that you don't understand? Check out The Dragon's Lexicon.