I love movies. A lot. In my opinion, one of the greatest movies ever made is the original ‘Rocky’ (1976) starring Sylvester Stallone. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve seen this film. I’m sure it’s way more than I’d like to admit publicly. Anyway, there are a lot of great nuggets in this film that regularly come to mind for me. There is one scene from this film that I’d like to share with you in today’s post that could greatly affect your relationships and the way you deal with conflict.
You know what happens when we assume don’t you?
We make an ass out of you & me (ass-u-me).
This is exactly what Rocky and His trainer Micky did in the film ‘Rocky’, and it led to a major conflict. Before I show you this scene from the film, let me give you a quick rundown.
Rocky (played by Sylvester Stallone) was an average club boxer from a down and out part of Philadelphia. He had been eeking out a meager living for years fighting on the weekends, and collecting money for a local mobster during the week. Rocky’s real desire was to make it as a professional fighter, however. He had been training at a gym run by Micky (played by Burgess Meredith) for several years. Micky was a boxing great in the 1930s and 40s who now made his living training young, up and coming fighters.
Over the years that Rocky had been training at Micky’s gym, Rocky had desired to be mentored and managed by the elderly Micky. Micky, however, hadn’t taken Rocky seriously. He had made some assumptions about Rocky that caused him to have a low view of him. He assumed that Rocky was not interested in taking boxing seriously. He assumed that Rocky was simply a local hoodlum that lacked motivation in life. The low point in their relationship came when Micky took Rocky’s locker away from him and gave it to a fighter who was seen as having better potential.
Soon after that, however, Rocky was approached with the offer of his lifetime. The professional heavy weight boxing champion of the world was looking to give a local no name fighter from Philadelphia a chance to fight him for the world title. The champ chose Rocky. When Micky heard about the extraordinary opportunity that had been given to Rocky, he came over to Rocky’s apartment to offer to train and mentor Him. As you can imagine, Rocky was not impressed. Micky’s mistreatment of Rocky over the years was rooted in false assumptions. This also caused Rocky to make some false assumptions about Micky. He assumed that Micky didn’t really care about him, and that he was simply trying to profit off of Rocky’s big break.
Meltdown & Reconciliation
In the following scene, Rocky lets out a lot of pent up frustration toward Micky after Micky came over to offer his services. After Rocky’s meltdown, the scene ends with a beautiful reconciliation that I’ll talk about after the clip. (if you’re reading this by email, you’ll need to view this directly on the blog to watch the video clip)
Although Rocky had a meltdown, so to speak, he was able to communicate what he had been feeling toward Micky for years. After Rocky expressed his hurt and anger, he could see Micky’s true heart. This led to the reconciliation. Seeing through false assumptions, and seeing the true heart of a person is necessary for reconciliation to take place.
Had Micky not made those assumptions about Rocky in the beginning, he might have seen Rocky’s true heart much sooner. Had Rocky communicated his hurt and desire for relationship with Micky years earlier, this meltdown that was rooted in Rocky’s own assumptions of Micky could have also been avoided. If you are familiar with the Rocky film series, you know that this breakthrough was the beginning of a rich relationship between the two that would last for years.
Remembering this scene from Rocky reminded me of the devastating affects of negative assumptions. When we view one another through the lens of Jesus Christ, false assumptions fade away and the path of communication and reconciliation open up.