Take This Tune

Posted: Monday, May 17, 2010 by Travis Cody in

Take This Tune is a feature hosted by my pal Jamie at Duward Discussion. Jamie puts up a video prompt complete with lyrics to the song, and the task is to find another song or to write something inspired by the title of the song or something in the lyrics.

I really enjoy participating in Jamie's feature because of where the prompts take my thoughts and emotions. This week's prompt is the Eagles' song Get Over It.

The movie Saving Private Ryan was released in 1998.  In this film is a scene that I think illustrates an attitude.  The following dialog is quoted from this scene, copied from the Internet Movie Database.

Private Jackson: Sir... I have an opinion on this matter.
Captain Miller: Well, by all means, share it with the squad.
Private Jackson: Well, from my way of thinking, sir, this entire mission is a serious misallocation of valuable military resources.
Captain Miller: Yeah. Go on.
Private Jackson: Well, it seems to me, sir, that God gave me a special gift, made me a fine instrument of warfare.
Captain Miller: Reiben, pay attention. Now, this is the way to gripe. Continue, Jackson.
Private Jackson: Well, what I mean by that, sir, is... if you was to put me and this here sniper rifle anywhere up to and including one mile of Adolf Hitler with a clear line of sight, sir... pack your bags, fellas, war's over. Amen.
Private Reiben: Oh, that's brilliant, bumpkin. Hey, so, Captain, what about you? I mean, you don't gripe at all?
Captain Miller: I don't gripe to *you*, Reiben. I'm a captain. There's a chain of command. Gripes go up, not down. Always up. You gripe to me, I gripe to my superior officer, so on, so on, and so on. I don't gripe to you. I don't gripe in front of you. You should know that as a Ranger.
Private Reiben: I'm sorry, sir, but uh... let's say you weren't a captain, or maybe I was a major. What would you say then?
Captain Miller: Well, in that case... I'd say, "This is an excellent mission, sir, with an extremely valuable objective, sir, worthy of my best efforts, sir. Moreover... I feel heartfelt sorrow for the mother of Private James Ryan and am willing to lay down my life and the lives of my men - especially you, Reiben - to ease her suffering."

So what's the attitude I see in the scene, and why is it relevant to this week's prompt? 

The attitude is something my mom taught me when I was about 4 years old.  I could be a stubborn little guy.  Mom would tell me it was time to clear up my toys from the living room and put them back in the toy box for the evening.  I wasn't always ready to do that, and being a stubborn little guy, I would voice my displeasure.

I would be told once, complain vocally, and be told again...appended by the words, "Now Travis".  Understanding that there was no reprieve to be had...no extra few minutes...I filled my arms with toys and stomped down the hallway.  The toys were tossed haphazardly back into the toy box and the lid slammed down.

This display of displeasure was allowed because the assigned task was accomplished.  I put the toys away.

So the attitude is...get over it.  The Rangers portrayed in the scene from Saving Private Ryan were given a task.  They were allowed a certain amount of latitude to voice general displeasure with the order.  But in the end, they got over that and went on with their duty.

A stubborn little guy is told to put away his toys for the evening.  He is allowed a certain amount of latitude to show his displeasure.  But in the end, he got over it and put away his toys.

I guess my philosophy is that you don't always have to like or agree with the things you're required to do in life.  But sometimes you just have to get over it and do whatever is necessary.

Do I think there are times when choosing not to comply is the right thing to do?  Sure.  But you'll also have to justify that decision, and get over yourself about that choice as well.

We don't make heroes or martyrs out of ourselves.  Others may assign us those labels based on an examination of our actions.  Of course, those others may also use words like pompous or irresponsible to describe what we've done or not done. 

Most of us simply either do or don't do the things that are necessary every day to live our lives.  We have some choices in common and others that are uniquely our own.  And I think it's always better when we just get over ourselves and get on with those choices.

Walk your path.  Speak your mind.  Do what is necessary.  Have some fun along the way.

But remember, gripes go up.  And the best way to gripe is constructively.  If you don't like something, either find another way to get it done or get over it and get on with it.


  1. Jamie says:

    Great response Travis. Totally in line with the idea and I love your philosophy.

  1. Excellent discussion!! Well put!

  1. Linda says:

    What a great post, Travis! I just wish that more people would follow this line of thought and stop with the constant griping and inaction. Some people totally fail to comprehend the concept of "get over it" as they just can't seem to get around what they perceive as an injustice to themselves in a life that is sometimes not going to be fair.

    "Gripes go up", I'm going to want to remember that and perhaps share that with a few people at work who have forgotten there is a chain of command for all of the griping that sometimes goes on there.

  1. Akelamalu says:

    I love your philosophy on this Trav, because it's the same as mine. LOL

  1. Really good advice. I'm the target for this one.

  1. Jamie: I know I don't like to listen to other people whine, so I guess that's universal.

    GGG: Thanks!

    Linda: We sure would get a lot more done if we'd just shut it and get on with it.

    Akelamalu: I knew I liked you!

    Charles: I don't think you're much of a whiner, or even an unproductive griper.

  1. I love the image of Stubborn Little Guy stomping down the hall with his toys. LOL! A good take on the prompt, and I enjoyed the script excerpt from Saving Private Ryan.

    Not sure why people seem to want to insist on happy compliance. Compliance infers unwillingness, so I agree with you that getting the task done without the happy part should be enough for anyone.