Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner

You might remember the line “Nobody puts Baby in a corner” delivered by Johnny Castle (played by Patrick Swayze) at the climax of the romantic 1987 film, Dirty Dancing. The movie told the story of a teenage girl’s (Frances “Baby” Houseman played by Jennifer Grey) rebellion against her father as she pursued her dance instructor, played by Swayze, during a family summer vacation.

Baby stood up for Johnny at a critical moment, which led Johnny to realize: “there are people willing to stand up for other people no matter what it costs them.” He, in turn, stood up for her and delivered the famous line: “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.”

Who do you stand up for in your life? And why? What is it about them? The fact that you are blood related? The fact that you owe them a favor? Or is it something more transcendent, say, the fact that they represent a ray of light, of hope to you?

I believe in people. I have hope for humanity despite the mountains of evidence that people will let you down at the end of the day. How is this done? What is the magic formula? It’s really quite simple.

Focus your attention on what is “right” about others, that is, what is noble, strong and respectable in their expression. Some wear these qualities on the surface of their expression, like a favorite t-shirt, while others hide them under layers of anxiety, self-consciousness or guardedness.

Either way, if you lock on to the qualities of expression that are branches of the tree of integrity like a heat-seeking missile, you will have all that you need to carry on. Sure you will be disappointed on occasion. Yes you will have investments you’ve made in others go bad, but don’t lose hope. Don’t give up. Your fellow human beings are worth fighting for at the end of the day.

You are not alone in this world. You may feel isolated on occasion, like the world is against you, like you face unimaginable odds, but you must take heart and remember, “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.”

8 thoughts on “Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner

  1. Pingback: Footloose and Fancy Free « Gregg Hake's Blog

  2. Kai

    Thanks Gregg, your post makes me thankful and hopeful, and looking for those lines of integrity which I can align with. Now that’s what I call the right kind of networking!


  3. Colin

    Whether or not you can see it at first glance, there is something right about EVERYBODY. All people deserve a measure of respect. If you focus on that, then you will know what to stand up for when the time comes. You will also be a person that draws out the best in others. (In other words, you will be a leader). Thanks Gregg!


  4. Joshua

    “Whats wrong with the person is beside the point, what’s right with the person IS THE POINT!!!”
    So many prize themselves on spotting lack and limitation in others, which takes no genius! The expression of genius in inherently contained in the ability to see what is right with the person and to go one step further….Draw what is right forth from within that person….After all your fulfillment DEPENDS on theirs.
    I needed to hear this, now time to get to work doing it!!!!
    Thanks Gregg!


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