“Marcus Aurelius had a dream that was Rome, Proximo. That is not it. That is not it!” ~ Maximus Decimus Meridius
My second favorite movie of all time is Gladiator (my favorite is Braveheart). And while it is a story of the little guy overcoming all odds and all that, to me it is also a story of dreams, and how one mans dream can become the driving force for another. Of how a dream can spur a man to accomplish great things.
Maximus never had a dream for Rome to be a republic. All he wanted was to go home. So what was it about Marcus Aurelius’ dream that made him so passionate about it? You could argue that it had to do with his family being killed, but I don’t think so. Because while he did want revenge for that, it was not all about his revenge. It was because this dream was a calling into something greater than himself.
We all have these dreams in our lives. And many of us look at where were are realize that this is not it. And so we spur on, in an attempt to live out our dreams. We get called into this grand story, this bigger thing.
But first, we must know our dream.
Senator Gracchus is to be reinstated. There was a dream that was Rome. It shall be realized.
It took me a bit to realize this, but Maximus’ role in the dream for Rome to be a republic wasn’t to make it happen, but to make it possible for others to make Rome a republic again.
Gracchus: So, after Rome’s all yours, you just give it back to the people. Tell me why.
Maximus: Because that was a dying man’s last wish. I will kill Commodus. The fate of Rome, I leave to you.
This has been the hardest thing for me to learn. Sometimes these big dreams we have, these things we want to see happen, are not ours to make happen. Instead our role is to make it possible for others to make it happen. This can be difficult at first, but know that without you, it would never possible for the dream to come to life. Without Maximus, Gracchus could have never made Rome a republic again.
What about you? What is the dream you are fighting for? What is your role in it? Will you make it happen? or will you make it possible for others to make it happen?