The Tough Need Not Always Get Going

When the going gets tough, the tough get going! But then how tough can tough get? Is there a line between things getting tough and things getting out of hand? Whatever may be the case, there is a clear line between what is tough and what is abusive! And it is important for us to know whether we should continue with the tough things or wisely choose to say STOP and assess the situation from a different perspective.

“Whiplash” is a 2014 drama film that tells the story of Andrew, an ambitious drummer and his unconventional and rather abusive music instructor. His mother had left him at a very young age and Andrew grew up under the care of his father. His love for drumming brought him to an elite music school where Mr Fletcher was conducting the coveted senior studio band. Very soon Andrew was noticed by Fletcher and offered to join his band. Over the next few the scenes, the audience witnesses the brutal and abusive methods that Fletcher employed to “push” his students beyond their limits. He torments his students by using offensive language, insulting their appearance and family, using sexist comments as well as hurling chairs and other objects at his students.

On the other hand, Andrew has his own issues to deal with. He is under constant pressure to prove his abilities before his family, he has difficulties maintaining the relationship with his girlfriend, but he is determined that nothing will come in his way of becoming a successful professional drummer. As a result, he “pushes” himself against the odds that Fletcher places before him, psychologically as well as physically. As the movie progresses, one can observe the sort of seclusion that Andrew brings upon himself so that he can focus completely on his drumming. His health takes a toll as well. Bleeding fingers and blood on his drum set becomes such a common sight that he is not bothered by them towards the latter half of the movie. However, all said and done, Fletcher’s approval, Andrew admits to his father, means a lot to him. Perhaps Andrew was able to view Fletcher as somebody who was more accomplished than his own father. His personal life goes for a toss, he breaks-up with his girlfriend, and things start to fall apart when he meets with an accident on his way to a show. Very soon, it is revealed that Fletcher’s strange teaching methodology had resulted in one of his former students committing suicide. It wouldn’t be surprising to take a note of this, given that Fletcher often resorted to means of degrading and humiliating his students! But is this how tough we need to let things get? Do the tough really have to show how tough they are, even on the verge of abuse?

We need to identify whether a relation we share with somebody affects us in a positive manner or not. Many a time, we are told to observe and imbibe the good in people and discard the bad. However, some people fail to realise that the very continuation of an abusive relationship can do more harm than good, and that staying in one for the sake of imbibing the best could be detrimental to your overall wellbeing. If you have been abused or humiliated, and find it difficult to cope with it, you may need to consider visiting a professional counsellor for help.

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