Have you ever felt like you have given all you have to give and it still isn’t enough? Rudy feels like he has run into a wall. After not making the dress list of players, Rudy decides to quit the football team –until the school janitor tries to talk some sense into him. As you watch this clip, ask yourself, what’s right with this picture?
Rudy’s primary strengths are honesty and humility. He may be defeated, but he is forthright in discussing his feelings and humble in assessing his current circumstance. While these could also be perceived as weaknesses in the context of this scene, honesty and humility are core values because they speak to one’s ability to see the “forest through the trees.” Rudy also displays social intelligence and understanding not only of his role in the situation, but also of the wisdom contained in the janitor’s inspirational speech. This speaks to his humility as well; he is able to hear advice that is tough to absorb. Rudy also displays gratitude in his acceptance of the janitor’s caring advice. He is thankful that he is set back on the right path before he makes a mistake that he will forever regret by giving up after two years of struggle.
The Janitor’s Strengths
The janitor’s primary strength is perspective. He is in the unique position of being able to relate directly to Rudy. As a former player who quit after two years and regretted his decision for life, the janitor can appeal to Rudy’s sense of logic – not to make the same mistake that he did. He displays kindness in taking an interest in Rudy’s plight. He could easily have walked away from the situation, but he invests himself to prevent Rudy from making a choice he knows is the wrong choice. He displays leadership by inspiring Rudy to stay the course despite his misgivings. He acts as a mentor and shows that the right path is available if Rudy will only take it. He also displays hope by believing that if Rudy continues his quest, there is a chance that Rudy will succeed and at the very least prove to himself that he has value as a player and a student.