Thursday, February 19, 2015

Roger Ebert

As a precursor to our new unit centering around amazing people you've probably never heard of, we spent a majority of the week talking about Roger Ebert. He gained fame as a film critic reviewing hundreds of films. Ebert was known for having strong opinions and standing by them. In his career he went on to have a television show swell as develop the popular thumbs up/thumbs down rating system. However that's what made Roger Ebert a successful person but made him amazing was when he fell ill. Ebert had cancer which caused him to lose the ability to talk and lose part of his jaw before eventually taking his life in 2011. When a person faces tragedy they do one of two things, they sink or they swim. Roger Ebert swam using his blog to regain his voice addressing a variety of topics. 
I think what made Roger Ebert so inspiring was his ability to connect with people. He didn't preach he just wrote in a way that people could connect to.

To me what made Roger Ebert's views so inspiring was that there was life behind them. They were the epiphanies of a dying man which added so much more weight to them. Roger Ebert was dying but he refused to let these new found ideas die with him. It goes along with the sink or swim idea. As he was swimming from diagnosis to unfortunate death he was able to really evaluate life in a way that most people are never able to. You could tell that every point Ebert made came from careful reflection and consideration. I think what inspired me the most was his optimism. He talks about personal narcism and loneliness but not in a downtrodden way. Instead he twists it to support community and to get across his personal thoughts one the importance of love and kindness. One of my favorite lines in Ebert's blog post All the Lonely People was " We want to say "I am alive" in a billion billion different ways" I really related to this because I remember thinking this is so true. We're all fumbling around trying to find our niche and trying to find what makes us happy. Everything Roger Ebert said was filled with truth and it doesn't necessarily have to change you, personally they didn't cause a huge life altering epiphany. But for the moments i spent reading the posts they did inspire me which says a lot to be able to motivate people even though the only thing left of you are the words on a computer screen. And I think Roger Ebert's ability to inspire, though words of optimism and wisdom, makes him truly amazing.

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