“Sooner or later, we all go through a crucible. I’m guessing yours was that island. Most believe there are two types of people who go into a crucible. The ones who grow stronger from the experience and survive it. And the ones who die. But there’s a third type. The ones who learn to love the fire. Who choose to stay in their crucible because it’s easier to embrace the pain when it’s all you know anymore.That’s why I’m on the clock to help this city. Before it becomes used to living like this.”
“Living is not for the weak.”
(A conversation between Sebastian Blood and Oliver Queen, “Arrow” Season 2, Episode 4 (“Crucible”))
Wow, look at this deep truth that was hidden in a thirty-second conversation of a TV series. When you think of TV series, you definitely don’t usually think of it for its philosophy, but merely as a form of entertainment, but perhaps these hidden truths are the reasons why shows like this one are so attractive? (No, I don’t agree with every aspect of the show: the premarital sex, constant drinking, drugs, I’m not a fan of immorality. . . . But at the same time, sadly, some of this is needed—it connects watchers to the show, by making it so real, making it a mirror of life. We need to be careful what we fill ourselves with, but at the same time, we can’t shun it, and pretend that it doesn’t exist. We need a balance, to be a part of it, without embracing it. Not encouraging sin, but being willing to be in it to reach out to those who are hurting.)
For those of you who have never seen “Arrow,” it’s a TV series based on DC’s super hero-Green Arrow. Oliver Queen, a billionaire playboy, is trapped on an island for five years after the sinking of his father’s yacht. The island harshly changes him, transforming him into a vigilante who seeks justice, as he tries to save the soul of his city as a green archer.
“Sooner or later, we all go through a crucible.” As I get older, my eyes are open wider and wider to how cruel and dark this world is. It’s so easy to focus on the bad, to be drowned in the brokenness. There is so much evil, so much pain. It takes strength to carry on, to have hope. When you’re young, in school, you seam so protected. Yes, you still experience the cruelties of life, but the world seams smaller. As you grow, it seams to get bigger, and scarier. You realize the darkness. You make so many plans for the future, which many of them never come true. The world becomes more mysterious and harsh. It’s easy to be consumed from it—but you can’t. Stay strong—know that what we see is only temporarily, that there is something better.
It would be so easy for Oliver Queen to allow his city to be destroyed by drug lords and gangs; but instead, he continues to fight for it. Even though he is wanted by the police, his life is constantly endangered, and darkness is all around him, he refuses to give into the despair, and instead chooses to embrace hope.
. . . Don’t stay in your crucible. Be brave enough to come out of the fire. Allow yourself to be molded into the beautiful instrument that you’re destined to become, so that you will have the strength to resist the darkness, and help others battle it as well.
“Living is not for the weak.” It takes strength to fight . . . but you don’t have to alone. Why do we marvel at super heroes, other than we wish that we had their powers? Because of this idea of the strong helping the weak. In nature, natural selection is the law of the jungle, “the strong shall live and the weak shall perish.” But as humans, we defy this law of nature; we care for the weak. Human life is so precious. No, not everyone can be strong, but those who are, should be willing to use their strength to help lift those who need it.
Life is cruel, but there is always light. Allow yourself to pass through your crucible, so that you may be ready for what is to come. But do not stay in the fire, and do not be afraid to reach out so that you won’t perish.
Then, once you emerge from the flames, become a vigilante who’s ready to see justice—to use his strength to protect the weak, and help them survive in this, in what we call life.
Become someone who will be remembered. Not for fame or cruelty, but for a heart that cared, for arms that would carry.