In my opinion, “Unbroken”, is a must see movie and must read book.
The following ‘take away’ lessons are adapted from Brian Dodd’s website.
1. Great Leaders Remain Calm During Crisis – In the film’s opening scene, Zamperini’s plane was under attack during a bombing mission but everyone remained strikingly calm.
2. Life’s Greatest Lessons Are Often Learned Early In Life.
3. The Power Of A Praying Parent
4. The Power Of Encouragement – Louis’s brother Pete constantly encouraged a young Louis by saying, “If you can take it, you can make it.”
5. The Power Of Someone Believing In You
6. The Value Of Training And Hard Work
7. The Reward Of Struggle – Before heading off to the Olympics, Pete’s final words to Louis were “A moment of pain is worth a lifetime of glory.”
8. The Power Of Prayer
9. Great Leaders Finish Well – Zamperini was always his fastest when the gun sounded for the final lap. He always had something left in his tank.
10. Great Leaders Are Dealers Of Hope – After a plane crash at sea, there was obvious fear by the three survivors who took refuge in a life raft. Fellow airman Mac said, “We’re going to die.” Zamperini responded, “No we’re not Mac.”
11. Great Leaders Always Have Contingency Plans – They expect the unexpected. After getting in a life raft with Phil and Mac, Zamperini immediately began rationing chocolate and water.
12. Great Leaders Sense AND Seize Opportunity – When a seagull landed on their raft, Zamperini captured the bird and killed it for food.
13. Great Leaders Are Resourceful – Upon realizing the bird’s insides were not digestible, rather than throwing the bird in the ocean they used the meat for fishing purposes.
14. The Reality Of Heaven And Hell – When Zamperini asked Phil about God, the stars and death, Phil said, “You go on living the best you can. You try to have some fun along the way. Then it’s over and there’s an angel at the end of your bed.”
15. Great Leaders Have Integrity. They Keep Their Word – While a raging storm at sea, Zamperini said, “If you get me through this I swear I’ll dedicate my whole life to you. Please.” These were promises kept by Zamperini.
16. Great Leaders Are Survivors – A fellow prison captive said, “We beat them by making it to the end of the war alive. That’s our revenge.”
17. Great Leaders Make You Think You Are Better Than You Really Are – Zamperini said, “My brother Pete said I could do anything. He made me think I’m better than I really am.” The words sustained Zamperini while being tortured.
18. Great Leaders Do Not Take Shortcuts – The Japanese offered Zamperini an easy life if he would only defame America. Rather than compromising his principles, Zamperini chose to return to the prison camp where he faced certain tortured by the camp’s leader, Mutsuhiro Watanabe know as “The Bird”.
19. Great Leaders Make Great Sacrifices – Rather than watch a fellow prisoner beaten, Zamperini took countless punches to the face in his place.
20. Great Leaders Have Unimaginable Perseverance And Resiliency. Great Leaders Do Not Quit. – It is truly indescribable the level of suffering experienced by Zamperini.
21. Forgiveness Is Stronger Than Hate – I am so glad Jolie chose to note Zamperini kept his promise to follow Jesus. She also acknowledged he returned to Japan where he located and forgave his captors. It is true – hard times will make you better or bitter. Zamperini shows us what happens when a person chooses to forgive.
22. A True Prison Camp – Had Zamperini not chosen to forgive The Bird and his other captors, he may have physically left the prison camp in the 1940s, but he would have still remained enslaved to them the remainder of his life.
EVERYONE – go see this movie or read the book. Zamperini’s life is an example to all of us facing crisis and struggling with bitterness.