On the bathroom mirror in my apartment there is a note that reads "Inspire the World, Create the Future." This little inspirational thought that greets me each morning may have induced me to seek out others who have inspired the world, and created the future, such as the legendary Bruce Lee. Although Lee was only 32 when he died in 1973, his legacy still permeates the consciousness of pop-culture, Hollywood, and martial arts.
The History Channel's documentary How Bruce Lee Changed the World traces Lee's impact on the world through his unique philosophy and fighting style. Lee had starred in movies in Hong Kong since he was six years old, but at age 18, at the request of his parents, he left Hong Kong for a new start in the United States. In 1964 he auditioned for the television series The Green Hornet, for which he secured the role of Kato. Later, Bruce Lee described his philosophy on the Pierre Burton Show, a philosophy that pervades his films The Big Boss, Fist of Fury, The Way of the Dragon, Enter the Dragon, and Game of Death:
"Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend."
Although Bruce Lee professed no belief in God, his closing statement on the Pierre Burton Show reveals a portion of the depth and beauty of his character and personality: "You know what I want to think of myself? As a human being. Because, I mean I don't want to sound like ask Confucius, sayyyyyy--(joking) but under the sky, under the heaven, man, there is but one family. It just so happens that people are different."
Now excuse me as I watch Bruce Lee dispose of Chuck Norris in the Colosseum.