As I was watching On the Waterfront the other night, I felt a strange sense of oneness with the world: I finally understood why for years people had been saying “I could have been a contender” with varying degrees of success in replicating Marlon Brando’s voice.
What I love about that famous line is not what it means in the singular moment when Terry, the former boxer played by Brando, says it in the backseat of the car. What I love is that although it is uttered as a lamentation of a lost opportunity, it is, in fact, that loss that creates the opportunity to do something much more significant.
Terry goes from a self-directed purpose, defending his own honor, to a purpose that is much bigger then a single man.
Sometimes an opportunity that you think you’ve lost is just the world’s way of making you available for bigger and better things.