I define me

In the Spielberg film Bridge of Spies, Rudolf Abel is arrested, charged, tried and convicted of being a Russian spy. He’s “the most unpopular man in America”. At their first meeting, his attorney (Frank Donovan/Tom Hanks) commented on his calm demeanour You don’t seem alarmed. To which Abel’s response was “Would it help?”

Throughout the movie, as his situation continued to be perilous, even when he’d return to Russia in a prisoner exchange, whenever Frank questioned his lack of expressions of frustration, animation even, his answer each time was “Would it help?”

Abel was right of course. It wouldn’t have helped. He was a spy.

It’s much the same for us FAers. We have FA. If anyone comments about how impressed they are with our attitude to life, that we don’t rail against the injustice of having to face life with such a huge, permanent disadvantage, we should answer “Would it help?”

Being upset, being frustrated will never change the fact of our FA. All it can achieve is to raise the relative importance of FA in defining who each of us is. Personally I aim to minimize how much FA defines me. What else am I? What else can I do? These are what make me special, individual, good company.

We don’t choose our life circumstances, but we do choose how, considering those circumstances, we live our lives.


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