Watching an old mountainclimbing flick I was struck by the obvious parallels with real life. The giving of the belayer's slack and the reeling in of that slack according to the situation are examples. Who among us doesn't need the slack of understanding daily and from time to time someone to reel us in from our own devices to safety? At one point also a veteran climber had to give up his best most secure hold to risk reaching for the next and higher position. "But you're giving up your strongest grip!" When it looked grim and the younger climber commented about it, the older companion gave his young partner the freedom to detach himself if he liked his chances better alone. He declined almost immediately. At another stage when the younger climber was questioning the veteran he received this response, "Don't talk to me now, this is not the time." The climb required full concentration at that point. At times oxygen itself is more precious than words could ever be. The one who wanted so badly to climb in the first place was the first to be ready to quit. The older one who started the climb so reluctantly provided the crucial determination to go on and at last they reached the summit together. But the most touching part of the movie has to be the way the older brother sacrificed his own name and reputation in an attempt to protect his little brother's reputation, preferring to remember him and describe him (who died in the descent) in the best light possible. Sounds like an older brother you and I may have in common.
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