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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

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Rudy Reuttiger’s inspiring life lessons: The need for respect and patience to achieve your dreams


Recently, I had the privilege of attending a Future Food Industry Leaders event hosted by the Academy of Food Marketing at St. Joe’s. At this event, I experienced a presentation by Rudy Ruettiger, the iconic figure whose life story inspired the movie “Rudy.” As he shared his journey and the lessons he learned along the way, two key themes emerged: the importance of respect and the value of patience in our lives.

Ruettiger’s first lesson of respect resonated deeply with me. He emphasized the importance of respecting our achievements. “When you earn something, you learn to respect it,” Ruettiger said. “People don’t respect things that are handed to them.”

Ruettiger explained that his own journey to achieve his dream of playing football for the University of Notre Dame was not easy. He faced numerous setbacks, but he eventually earned his place on the team. Earning that opportunity instilled in Ruettiger a profound respect for the game, his teammates and the opportunity that he had been given. When we earn something through our efforts, whether it be a promotion, a degree, or a personal accomplishment, it’s important to appreciate the value of that achievement. By showing respect for what we have earned, we honor the journey and the sacrifices we made to get there.

The second lesson Ruettiger discussed, patience, was equally powerful. He spoke about the obstacles he faced along his journey, including the multiple rejections from movie producers for his film. He shared how he learned to be patient and persistent, even when faced with disappointments. “Patience is key,” he said. 

Patience is not just about waiting for things to happen, but about never losing sight of our dreams, despite the passage of time. In today’s fast-paced, instant gratification culture, patience is often overlooked or undervalued. We are accustomed to expecting quick results, and when things don’t happen as quickly as we want, we may become discouraged or give up. Rudy’s message on patience is a timely reminder that success often requires time and perseverance.

Rudy Ruettiger’s presentation left a profound impact on me as it reminded me of the importance of respect and patience in our lives. His story is not just about football, but about the values and virtues that can lead us to achieve our dreams. As we navigate our own journeys beyond university, let us remember that success requires hard work, perseverance and a steadfast commitment to our goals.

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