Song Combos: "Just Keep Breathing" by We Came As Romans / "Island" by Coheed & Cambria

Ok, so maybe we're stretching a bit with these two song combinations, but hear us out and see where we go with this analogy.
 
"Am I still breathing? Then nothing is as bad as it seems." sings the late Kyle Pavone of We Came As Romans in the song "Just Keep Breathing" off of their sophomore release Understanding What We've Grown To Be. The message of the song is straight-forward but important enough to discuss anyway.

"I've stumbled over every obstacle / but at least I've made it past."
Life is a journey and on every journey a person will face their own personal challenges and tragedies. Some will be met with success while others will be met with failure.  Despite our past mistakes, we still made it through. We are still alive, still breathing.
 
True failure doesn't come from having made mistakes; human beings are imperfect creatures and mistakes are an unavoidable part of life. True failure comes when we don't learn from mistakes.



This song is a positive reminder that life goes on. As bad as our situations may seem at times, they can always be worse. The old cliche is true that time heals all wounds. Well, most of them anyway. Quite often time is the only option we have. The line "just keep breathing" reminds me of the 2000 Tom Hanks film Castaway. A movie which contains a similar positive message while also having the honorable distinction of feeling like a two hour FedEx commercial.
 


(*SPOILER ALERT*) The clip below is from the very end of the movie where Hanks' character Chuck Noland discusses his feelings of helplessness and despair while being stranded on a deserted island, and the mindset that helped him to survive.



"The only real control we have is over ourselves / we can't and we won't control anything else." Life is a journey and on that journey there will be ups and downs. It is not our job to force every situation we experience to be positive. This is impossible. Sometimes all we can do is remind ourselves of what we have and that there is only so much under our own control. And despite all the bullshit, we can make it through if we can "just keep breathing." Because "tomorrow the sun will rise, and who knows what the tide could bring."
 
Maybe you're not stranded on an actual deserted island like Chuck was. Perhaps you're stranded on a metaphorical "island" of isolation and depression. Sometimes human beings amplify such pressures by beating themselves up over those things that they can't control. "Where's my life-saver when I'm screaming danger?"  sings Claudio Sanchez on Coheed & Cambria's song "Island."
 
Well, to be blunt, quite often we have to be our own life-saver. Or at least make enough effort to get noticed by those who may be able to help. No one came to rescue Chuck when he was alone on that island. Absolutely no one. That is, until the tides brought him something he could use to make a sail which allowed him to get a raft far enough out to sea to be noticed by a passing cargo ship. 
 
Chuck was eventually rescued by somebody else. But he had to be patient and "keep breathing" before he was presented with an opportunity. And even when that opportunity struck, he still had to work damn hard to get himself off of the island far enough for someone else to notice. 
 
Did Chuck save himself or was he rescued? My answer to that question would simply be, "yes." Both statements are true.


"Get off the island and swim back to shore."

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