Save the ones you can Jake !


Can you lay your life down, so a stranger can live?
Can you take what you need, but take less than you give?
Could you close every day, without the glory and fame?
Could you hold your head high, when no one knows your name?
That’s how legends are made, at least that’s what they say…Contd.

These lyrics are from a song by Bryan Adams from the movie “Guardian (2006).

Yesterday I was taking help from my wife in preparing a 1-minute video presentation. Suddenly I saw her disappearing into our living room. Much to my embarrassment she had put on the TV. I was wondering what happened to her? I was thinking “she should have helped me close the video.” But it was too late. She had cast her eyes and got glued onto this movie “Guardian”. I was initially doing some spoiler alerts (atleast in my mind) by asking her “how come you are watching a movie which is about the coast guard when you never liked to swim and did not drop your guard when you had to go deep into the water.” I was trying to distract her, but she was not distracted and without battling her eyelids she was full on focus. I had to quieten myself


In racing they say the race driver goes where his eyes goes. I used the 4-sec hack from Ian Faria and my eyes went into the scenes of the movie. It was riveting. Few minutes into the movie, I started intensely watching the movie. It so happened that when somebody was at the door, I literally asked my wife to deal with it. I then updated her those missed scenes.

Then came the most profound moment of the movie. It was the final scene when the senior coast guard officer Ben Randall, rescues the junior officer Jake Fischer. Both of them are being lifted by their team. Suddenly the wire from the rescue helicopter above suddenly cracks. Beneath them are high seas and above they see the crack propagating. Randall says the wire cannot hold two and hence I will go. In response, Jake grabs his hand and says, “I won’t let you go.” Randall replies “I know.” Then he rips off his gloves and plunges down.

That scene played out throughout that evening and I discussed with my wife how Randall was so selfless to let go of his life. That scene made me delve deeper into this leadership trait of selfless service.  I was thinking why did Randall let himself go?

Earlier that evening we had our cousin visiting us. He is in the army. In him, I saw a very young man dedicated to serve others. He is in the middle of 3 years of field posting in a highly dangerous area where they encounter all kinds of circumstances. The question I was pondering in this case was why did this young guy let go of a good cushy IT job and decide to take up this selfless job?

Adam Grant in his best seller “Give and Take” mentions the two ends of the Givers Spectrum. On one end you have the low givers and on the other the highest givers. The more altruistic your attitude the more benefits you will gain from the relationship. Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn founder. explains, ” If you set out to help others you will rapidly reinforce your own reputation and expand your universe of possibilities.”


What separates the givers at the top and those at the bottom?

Grant’s research found that successful givers aren’t just more other-oriented than their peers, but they are also more self-interested. They value the greater good and they value their own interests and needs. They are altruistic and ambitious, and that ability to put themselves on their own priority list is what prevents them from getting steam-rollered, burnt out, and left behind. Givers can be other-ish, are positioned for success and are able to do well for themselves by doing good for others. The difference between givers at the top and the bottom of the food chain is that successful givers match their desire to help others with an ambitious goal of their own.

Coming back to the movie I asked myself, “What kind of a giver was Randall?”

My analysis went deeper into what made him let go. Randall considered himself as a failure up until that point as he had a broken marriage, bad professional success (he lost 22 men under his command) and in his last assignment he was rescued by Jake.To me he was a low giver. By the time he realised the importance of fixing his marriage along with serving others, it was too late. In his last attempt when he saved Jake from a ship wreck, he realized that he had only one choice. He went down into the sea as the guardian and the world put him at the pinnacle. The movie ends with these lines:

“There is a legend of a man who lives beneath the sea. He is a fisher of men, the last hope of all those who have been left behind. Many survivors claim to have felt his gripping hands beneath them; pushing them up to the surface; whispering strength until help could arrive. But this, of course, is only a legend”

Save the ones you can Jake!

In a poignant scene Randall tells Jake that you cannot save everyone, you can only save the people who want to live. That was a great realization for me as well, we cannot save the unsaveable and hence we should always look forward to helping people who need our support and help.Be a high giver but remember that you can only save the ones you can and the rest you have to let go.

From top contd…

We say goodbye, but never let go.
We live, we die, ‘cuz you can’t save every soul.
Gotta take every chance to, show that you’re the kinda man who
Will never look back, never look down and never let go

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