Life lessons from Al Swearengen

Deadwood is one of my favorite shows from HBO.

The character of Al Swearengen in particular is much of the reason I watch it. Its was s well written show, with great actors and actresses, and it is a shame that it did not get picked up for a fourth season.

Anyways back on topic, throughout the series Al, played by Ian Mcshane, has moments in either monologues with himself or in conversations with others where he gives out advice.

My favorite of these is a video I linked to in an earlier post, Al’s take on life putting a beating on you. The quote in particular is:

“Pain or damage don’t end the world. Or despair or fucking beatings. The world ends when you’re dead. Until then, you got more punishment in store. Stand it like a man… and give some back.”

It has a special meaning for me, as I used it to help me get over and deal with my A.S. I often get sharp aches and pains in my neck, upper back, and lower back, these are often debilitating. It hurts to do to anything, it makes getting a good nights sleep very difficult. Anyways, back on topic, this quote from Swearengen gives me some perspective, that no matter how bad I feel or how much physical pain or emotional distress I feel that it’s the way of the world, the world is not fair or a blissful paradise.

I often also think of another quote from another show I like, Buffy the Vampire Slayer:

“the hardest thing to do in the world is to live in it”

and the best way to take things is one day at a time.



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