Monday, July 5, 2010

Sacrifice - from the phlegmatic Michael Caine

I have often been called phlegmatic, calm, not easily angered. (I have been called a lot of other things too…)

Phlegmatic (definition from

1. not easily excited to action or display of emotion; apathetic; sluggish.
2. self-possessed, calm, or composed.
3. of the nature of or abounding in the humour phlegm.

1. stoical, cool, cold, uninterested, dull, torpid. 2.  cool, collected, unruffled, placid, quiet.

When they call me phlegmatic they usually also refer to my British background, a disposition for phlegm being seen as a typically British trait. I may have some claim to that quality (some would say particularly the cold, dull and torpid part) but I have nothing in comparison to the phlegm of one of my favourite actors: Sir Michael Caine.

I recently saw him in ‘The Weather Man’ (2005) starring Nicolas Cage. It’s a very honest movie, worth your while, even important, particularly for a few lines that Caine delivers with an armour-piercing phlegm.

To get anything of value you have to sacrifice. Do you know the harder thing to do and the right thing to do are usually the same thing? Nothing that has meaning is easy. Easy doesn’t enter into grown up life.

Easy doesn’t enter into grown up life. It’s as simple as that. Most of our problems arise from that one simple fact and our inability to face up to doing the hard thing, the right thing, the thing that takes courage. The minute we stop resisting and accept that, we will start to make progress. And that’s also when we will start to become men. And women.

Here’s the clip, I found it on Youtube. Your whole life has brought you to this moment with Michael Caine.

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Discover The Tale of Genji, the 11th Century classic of Japan (click image)

Discover The Tale of Genji, the 11th Century classic of Japan (click image)
Kiyomizudera Temple has a large veranda looking out over Kyoto and beyond