Lessons from Hacksaw Ridge

‘While everybody is taking life I’m going to be saving it. And that’s going to be my way to serve’

Desmond Doss

Hacksaw Ridge is a movie that challenges your world view and makes you understand the truly important things of life. The most intriguing thing about this movie is that it based on the true experience of Private  Desmond Doss, a World War 2 Soldier and Seventh Day Adventist Conscientious Objector who fought at the front lines of the “bloodiest war” of World War II without carrying a rifle! Excellently re-enacted by Andrew Garfield, It was both beautiful and inspiring to watch a man stay true to his beliefs in spite of all the negativity he received from other soldiers. It was so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes!

Below are some of my takeaways from the movie:


Defend Your Convictions

“Thous Shall not Kill”

Though Private Doss believed in the cause of the war, he believed nevertheless that killing was wrong. Hence, he was stationed as a medic. His belief in this commandment was reinforced by childhood experiences when he almost killed his brother and his father in two different incidents. Though everyone else was irritated with his stance, he defended his beliefs nonetheless and would not even touch a gun! It was inspiring to see that the soldier that never handled a gun became the MVP in the war by going “above and beyond the call of duty” to single-handedly save seventy-five (75) soldiers at the expense of his own life.

Private Desmond Doss being awarded the Medal of Honor- the highest and most prestigious personal military decoration of the United States


In spite of the great level of negativity, cynicism and opposition that Private Doss faced from other soldiers and army commanders, he remained true to his belief throughout the movie. He did not allow the opinions of others change his stance even when he was likely to go to prison for his beliefs, he defended his beliefs and at every given time, he defended his truth! He said ” I don’t know if I am going to be able to live with myself if I don’t stay true to what  I believe.”


Prayer Strengthens

Private Doss was a man of prayer. He could actually be nicknamed “the praying medic”. He was continuously praying to the Lord “help me get one more”  throughout the Hacksaw Ridge experience. In spite of the fact that his physical strength was obviously fading away, in the strength of prayer, he was able to save seventy-five soldiers alone! It was beautiful to see that the army eventually trusted so much in his prayers that they would not go into battle without it.

Love and Compassion

The love that Desmond felt for his fiancée who later became his wife was almost palpable. It was true. It was pure. It was love! His compassion for the enemy soldiers was a typical show of love for enemies. He did not differentiate between American Soldiers and the Japanese soldiers. He saved anyone he could no matter who they were!

Purity Matters

In a world that colours sexual purity as archaic and old-fashioned, it was beautiful to see Private Doss and his fiancée wait till their wedding night to consummate their relationship. For me, it was a reminder that purity matters!

This is undoubtedly one of the most inspiring movies that I have seen! It is worth your time. A big kudos to the cast and crew.

Watch movie trailer here.

Have you seen the movie? I will be glad to read your lessons learnt in the comment section.

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