Consider what Mr. Denton says at the end of the episode when he tells the young gunslinger, “We’ve both been blessed.” What does he mean by that, and what are the implications? Where might you have been similarly blessed and not recognized it?
I’ve long believed that those painful experiences we’ve had in our lives have the potential to become transformational tools for us, and reference points for us in our exchanges with others. This is not to suggest we should go out in search of painful experiences in order to later benefit from them. In many ways, that would be sadistic. Nor do I want to suggest to someone else in the midst of a painful experience that it’s a gift. But I do want to look back at those experiences I’ve had in my life that were difficult for what they’ve provided me.
I think this is among the healthiest things we can do for ourselves in the present.
Back to Denton’s comment. It seems he has the life experience to recognize that being shot in the hand, and therefore no longer being thought of as fast with a gun, has freed him to live the life he wants to live. No longer will young gunmen be seeking him out to further their own reputations, and no longer will he have to hide inside a bottle to prevent it.
And Denton has the perspective to realize the young gunslinger, similarly injured, will not have to experience what he himself experienced – others gunning for him, the pressure that comes with that, the reaction of having killed others in order to live, and then having to drown it all in alcohol. The young gunslinger can move forward at a young age without all of these things to pull him down.
How are we all similarly blessed?
NEXT STEP: Theme #3